Utah mill eyes radioactive material from Estonia

(Dom Smith | EcoFlight) This undated aerial photo shows the White Mesa Uranium Mills evaporation ponds.

Cortez, Colo. • A Colorado-based company is asking for permission to ship radioactive material from Eastern Europe to a uranium mill in Utah.

The Cortez Journal reported Monday that Energy Fuels Resources submitted an application in April to the Utah Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control to allow the White Mesa Uranium Mill to accept material from a rare-earth production plant in Estonia.

The residual material contains uranium that the mill can extract to make fuel rods for nuclear power plants.

The mill in southeastern Utah is near the former Bears Ears National Monument, which contains ancestral dwellings and artifacts considered sacred to Native Americans. But the facility isn’t inside the original or revised boundaries of the monument.

President Donald Trump downsized the Bears Ears monument in 2017, triggering a backlash from conservation groups and Indian tribes.