Blue Castle Holdings Inc. has received approval from the State Water Engineer to draw 53,600 acre-feet of water per year from the Green River for its proposed nuclear power plant near Green River City.
BCH leased the water more than four years ago from the Kane County and San Juan County Water Conservancy Districts for the expected 60 years of plant operations. The water had previously been allocated for use in coal fire power plants that were never built.
The company has said its nuclear project would increase the electricity generated in Utah by about 50 percent, adding between 2,200 to 3,000 megawatts of installed electrical capacity, while using less than 1 percent of the State's current water diversion.
Aaron Tilton, CEO of BCH, said that the state engineer's decision shows that "...the water was available for withdrawal from the river, that its use at the proposed new nuclear power plant site would not interfere with other
water users, that the proposed plan is physically and economically feasible and would not prove detrimental to the public welfare and the environment."
Final approval by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is still some years away.
Blue Castle expects to employ up to 3,000 constructions workers during the six-year building of the dual-unit plant, and anticipates up to 1,000 full-time workers will be employed to operate the plant.
The company promised to work with wildife agencies to protect endangered fish in the river.