Utah: Nuclear power water rights protests triggers public hearing

Are local people waking up to the fact that energy development in the remote West lacks the water necessary-

The attitude of many interior Western politicians is, and generally has been, that they are happy to be a colony for the rest of the country as long as they can be glorified for a few myths like “The Cowboy State,” or the West, land of rugged individualists.

With this in mind are some people in rural Utah waking up? If they think this plant needs a lot of water, wait for the applications for oil shale development.

Nuclear power water rights protests triggers public hearing. Hundreds of people and organizations have filed objections. By Patty Henetz. The Salt Lake Tribune






  1. Rusty Avatar

    Nuclear plants have several environmental benefits over other forms of power. One of the often overlooked downsides is the large consumption of water. The water is lost in the form of vapor usually in the cooling towers. Plants on large bodies of water can return this hot water to the body of water they are located on. Obviously this doesn’t work on rivers because the temperature rise of the water can have detrimental affects on the marine life in that water. In areas were water is a premium, which is most of the western US the price may be too high to pay.

    Rumor has it the next generation of plants use less water but I have not seen these designs so can not comment.

    On a separate topic, I thought I read here that mining was defeated around Arches National Park? I drove through there three weeks ago and they are mining on the banks of the Colorado River just south of the park. Any info on this would be greatly appreciated. Just seems like the banks of the Colorado would be a really bad place to mine for anything.

  2. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    The disturbance south of Arches on the banks of the Colorado is an environmental cleanup of old uranium ore processing tailings.

    The mines that produced this were near, but west of Arches NP back in the 1950s and 60s. The radioactive tailings sat on the banks of the Colorado ever since. I knew they finally got an appropriation to clean them up, so that’s what I think you saw.

  3. Rusty Avatar

    Thanks for clearing that up Ralph. I appreciate it.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan