Red Wing Mayor encourages lawmakers to push for change in nuclea - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Red Wing Mayor encourages lawmakers to push for change in nuclear waste storage

RED WING, Minn. (KTTC) -

As a big employer, and major utility power source, The Prairie Island nuclear power plant has a big impact on the surrounding communities.

That impact also includes spent nuclear fuel that needs to go somewhere.

Currently it's being held on site.

Nearly 50 years ago, nuclear power plants started popping up across the country with the expectation that a location for nuclear waste would be around the corner. 

That was the point of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, to create a nuclear disposal site, Yucca Mountain, in Nevada.

But that law has been set by the wayside leaving power plants like at Prairie Island to store their waste on-site.

Until now it seems, as the US House of Representatives passed an amendment to that bill that would revive that discussion.

Something that the people of Red Wing fully support.

"It was a really great bill because it had three major components, it had money for planning transportation of nuclear waste, money for a consolidated interim storage facility so that things can move faster  and the planning for licensing of a permanent repository," Red Wing Mayor Sean Dowse said.  

Now its important to note that as it stands Mayor Dowse says the nuclear waste stored at Prairie Island does not pose a threat to the public, but it does pose a threat to tax dollars.

To date, Minnesotans have spent nearly $1 billion to fund the Nuclear Waste Fund which would provide the money for the project.

While the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendment Act of 2018 passed the House by a wide, bi-partisan margin, Senate leaders say there is little chance the bill would even be heard. 

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