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NRC Provides Emails

Emails recently obtained from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) further document circumstances surrounding a 2020 message sent to the NRC by “a concerned citizen” who wrote about what they believed to be an undiscovered uranium deposit at Skinwalker Ranch. The email suggested the alleged uranium deposit was the cause of “health dangers” purportedly experienced at the ranch.

The NRC, Rockville, MD

Expanding Frontiers Research (EFR) has now obtained several pages of responsive emails from the NRC through the Freedom of Information Act. The FOIA request was submitted after EFR learned of the 2020 “concerned citizen” email message via a series of public records requests submitted to the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).

As previously reported by EFR, the DEQ was queried in an effort to establish if Skinwalker Ranch personnel ever reported to proper authorities any of the circumstances suggested in what have become recurring claims of concerning radiation levels and potentially related health hazards. DEQ advised in an Oct. 18 email to EFR it was unable to follow up “because the property is held by a private entity which has not sought the Division's assistance for any incidents that may have occurred on-site.”

DEQ additionally provided EFR records indicating the Nuclear Regulatory Commission forwarded it the 2020 message from the “concerned citizen.” This prompted the FOIA request to the NRC.

The email in question, subject line “Skinwalker Ranch Has Uranium” and shown below, demonstrates the sender desired to remain anonymous. NRC redacted personal identifying information of the sender as exempt from the FOIA.


Inter-agency emails were subsequently exchanged between NRC and DEQ, discussing the message from the “CI,” or concerned individual, and were recently included in the NRC FOIA response. One such message, pictured below, shows how an employee brought colleagues up to speed on the cable television show, The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch. Note the use of quotes to what might be interpreted as doubtfully describe “'high' radiation readings shown on the show.”

If history is any indicator, Skinwalker Ranch cast members will continue to receive a certain amount of loyal fan support for their sensational claims, virtually regardless of discrepancies, while critics stockpile contradictions in logic. This becomes increasingly significant as public funds are used to propagate those claims while state and federal employees spend time and attention sorting out irresponsibly manufactured byproducts. Perhaps at its most fundamental level, one of the greatest contradictions may be that the property is either dangerous or it's not: Skinwalker Ranch can't be both a public safety hazard and a tourist attraction.

View and download the documents recently obtained from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission below.


Response to FOIA 2023-000012-combined (1)
.pdf
Download PDF • 456KB

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While I am touched that the NRC was responsive the a concerned individual, we are seeing what happens when someone who has marginal literacy and a questionable awareness of civics watches programming that is entertainment. Had the radiation levels been real, this property would be controlled under a corrective action response and it would be in the open.

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