STATEMENT: HEAL Disappointed in Green River Nuke Ruling

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HEAL Utah today expressed disappointment after the state Court of Appeals issued a ruling allowing Blue Castle Holdings, the company which wants to build the Green River nuclear reactors, to lease a massive quantity of water to cool the proposed project.

The environmental group pointed out, however, that despite this ruling, the Green River nuclear project remains stalled — at best.

“We’re disappointed that a court again chose to buy Blue Castle’s paper-thin claims that this is a viable proposal,” said HEAL Utah’s Executive Director Matt Pacenza. “But Utahns opposed to the project shouldn’t worry. This remains a project which has failed to attract investment or interest from any utility. If no one wants to fund your project, or buy the product you’re selling, then you’re going nowhere.”

Pacenza said that despite the unfortunate ruling, HEAL and their fellow plaintiffs — the groups Living Rivers and Uranium Watch — are pleased they chose to go to court to challenge the 2012 ruling from State Engineer Kent Jones. During the 2013 trial, he noted, it was revealed how precarious Blue Castle’s financial situation is: Blue Castle has raised just $500,000 from outside investors since CEO and former state Rep. Aaron Tilton formed the company in 2007.

“Considering the company needs $50 to $100 million to apply to federal officials for a federal permit – not to mention the $20 billion or so they would need to build the reactors – their plan is rather underfunded,” Pacenza pointed out.

One particularly galling part of the Court of Appeals ruling (which can be found at is that it repeats Blue Castle’s claims that the company has had “discussions with eighteen utilities expressing an interest in the plant’s power.” Blue Castle may have done those meetings years ago, but the fact remains that no Western utility has any plans to invest in nuclear energy. Rocky Mountain Power, by far Utah’s biggest power purchaser, in just one example, repeatedly asserts in its planning documents that nuclear power is not in its future.

“This project has no hope,” said Pacenza. “HEAL, our allies and Utahns skeptical about Aaron Tilton’s nuclear dreams may not be winning in court, but Blue Castle is losing where it counts: In the marketplace.”

HEAL and their fellow plaintiffs plan a careful study of the ruling issued today before deciding whether to appeal.

For more information, or to schedule an interview, call Pacenza at 801-864-0264.