The White Mesa Uranium mill, located between Blanding, UT and the Ute Mountain Ute Tribal community of White Mesa, is the only fully-operational uranium mill in the country. It takes materials captured from the mining of uranium, including ore, tailings, and waste, and processes those materials to either store or sell as uranium for weapons or energy.
But residents and tribal leaders in White Mesa are concerned with the safety of the mill, and have been more and more vocal about their opposition. More than 80 people attended a protest against the mill last month, and tribal officials went to Salt Lake City last week to ask questions of Utah regulators. On Thursday evening a public hearing was held about the status of the mill's license. To understand more about environmental concerns with the mill, KSJD's Austin Cope spoke with Scott Clow, environmental programs director for the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe.