The Utah state engineer was right to let a Provo-based company acquire Green River water to cool its proposed nuclear power reactor, a judge ruled Wednesday. The decision by 7th District Judge George Harmond is the last major say any Utah official will have in the project proposed by Blue Castle Holdings. From here on out, it’s up to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) — and the market — to decide whether the state’s first commercial nuclear reactor will be built near Green River. It would use up to 53,000 acre-feet of river water a year to cool its reactor, which would generate 3,000 megawatts of electricity.
The judge — like the state engineer before him — punted to the feds any judgment about the effect on the river and four endangered fish. The NRC will have to follow the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process that assesses such environmental effects. (…)