Following the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board's stay of Powertech/Azarga's NRC license, John Tsitrian offers a hardnosed take on Powertech/Azarga's dubious plan to mine uranium in the southern Black Hills. Tsitrian likes drinking water as much as the rest of us, but he looks at Powertech's designs on our sacred Hills less from an environmentalist perspective and more from a business perspective. And in Powertech, Tsitrian smells bad business:
...When a permit for the mine was issued by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission three weeks ago, there was much hoopla generated by the Powertech/Azarga public relations honks, but I remained dubious, mainly because the company's stock refused to budge from its measly 7 or 8 cents a share valuation. I mean, it's been nearly a month and the stock yesterday actually traded below its price on the day the NRC news broke.
Hard as the company's insiders have tried to tout its prospects, speculators just haven't been buying it. Now comes word today as to possibly why the stock has remained depressed. Three administrative judges on the Atomic Safety and Licensing board just suspended the much-hyped NRC permit. I thought that was big-time breaking news, but apparently it didn't come as all that much of a surprise. In this morning's Rapid City Journal story about it, reporter Joe O'Sullivan made this intriguing note: "The stay, which both uranium supporters and opponents expected, will allow uranium opponents more time to make their case against the proposal." I believe that if the stay of the NRC permit was indeed "expected," Powertech/Azarga completely ignored the prospect of it in its effusive announcement about it earlier this month [John Tsitrian, "That Was Quite A Doozy That Powertech's Head Honcho Told Last February About Its Pemitting Prospects In The Black Hills," The Constant Commoner, 2014.04.30].
If Powertech will stretch the truth to its investors, the people giving them money to forward their plans, imagine what they might be willing to say to local residents and regulators who might stand in the way of their plans.