Monday, May 21, 2012

Protesters gather to thwart Green River nuclear plans

More than 100 demonstrators gathered on the sun-baked desert just south of a proposed nuclear power plant here Saturday evening, protesting both the envisioned reactors and the big gulp of disputed river water needed to cool them.

A "No Green River Nuke Coalition" that included Uranium Watch, HEAL Utah, Living Rivers and residents of southeastern Utah chanted along with an American Indian blessing of the land, and some donned costumes including mushroom clouds and foam fish heads honoring endangered species of the Green and Colorado rivers.

The water, upward of 50,000 acre-feet per year, or enough to supply a moderately sized Utah city, is the subject of a lawsuit that these groups and some Moab river guides have filed. Their aim is to reverse the state engineer’s approval of a withdrawal of water that they say the river — either for fish or for recreation — can’t afford.

Uranium Watch program director Sarah Fields, of Moab, said she believes the nuclear promoters are speculating, without the means to build a plant, and may end up leasing the water for other energy projects in eastern Utah. Salt Lake Tribune