Energy Fuels hosts open house at mill

by David Boyle
News Director
Energy Fuels held an open house at the White Mesa Mill on October 10 and 11 to highlight the mill’s work. There were a variety of presentations and events, in addition to tours of the facility.
David Frydenlund, Executive Vice President at Energy Fuels, said the mill is subject to lots of regulations to maintain safety, including 50 reports inspected by the state subject to citations and 20 inspections annually.
Frydenlund noted that the mill surety bond currently holds $24 million, with annual increases. If the mill were to shut down, the surety bond would provide $24 million to the federal government for clean-up of the site.
Frydenlund said employees at the mill are regularly tested to make sure contamination exposure, including radon, is within federal minimum standards.
He said the mill reports the typical dose is four percent of the standard, placing the mill well in line with allowable exposure. Frydenlund added that public monitoring stations, including monitoring wells and air monitors, show levels of exposure for the public are within federal standards of safety. The goal for the mill is to beat the standards as much as possible. 
At the two-day open house event, attendees heard a variety of speakers, including Miss America 2023 Grace Stanke. Stanke is a Nuclear Engineering Student at the University of Wisconsin, and a Clean Energy Advocate.
Attendees also viewed a premier of Nuclear Now by Oliver Stone.
In pre-recorded remarks, Utah Governor Spencer Cox spoke about the importance of domestic supply and ability to mill uranium, vanadium, and Rare Earth Elements.
Cox said foreign powers control a high percent of the world market, including uranium milling in Russia and Rare Earth Element production in China.
Speakers also highlighted plans for growth at the mill, noting the facility’s ability to mill uranium, vanadium, and Rare Earth Elements.
Uranium is a key component of nuclear energy, vanadium is an element used in new cancer treatments and Rare Earth Element’s are an important component of batteries and renewable energy creation.
The event also highlighted the work of the San Juan County Clean Energy Foundation.
The foundation was created by Energy Fuels in 2021 with an initial donation of $1 million. The fund receives one percent of the revenues generated annually by the White Mesa Mill.
The grant program offers funding to organizations in San Juan County that support initiatives in education, environment, health and wellness, the economy, and tribal prosperity.
Among the nearly $100,000 in grants awarded in 2023 include donations to the Canyonland Field Institute Native Teen Guide-in-Training Camp, sanitation services in the Red Mesa and Teec Nos Pos chapters, equipment for the San Juan High School football team, and funds to help support a new solar energy system at the Dinosaur Museum in Blanding.
Speaking at the event was local resident Ryan Benally, chairperson of the San Juan County Clean Energy Foundation, and Kevin Sekaquaptewa, of American Indian Services, which has been a recipient of funds from the foundation.

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