www.mnaction.org Tuesday, July 29, 2014  

Ensuring Progress on Minnesota’s Path to a Clean Energy Future!

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Issue

Maintain the Prohibition on New Nuclear Reactors in Minnesota

Background

On Monday night the Minnesota Environmental Partnership hosted our 14th Annual Legislative Reception and Forum. Even with the snow, the event was well attended. Among the guest speakers were Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller, Representative Alice Hausman, MN Department of Transportation Government Affairs Director Scott Peterson, and Peter Bradford, former member of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Bradford, who is now an adjunct professor of law at Vermont Law School and energy policy consultant at Bradford Brook Associates, visited with legislators at the State Capitol and the MEP Forum to tell lawmakers to hold firm on Minnesota’s prohibition on the construction of new nuclear power plants. Bradford has found that new nuclear plants underway in the U.S. are experiencing construction delays and cost overruns, while the federal government has failed to open Yucca Mountain for permanent waste disposal. Bradford also mentioned that a lack of interest among banks and other sources of capital are pushing nuclear supporters to seek government funding, which can be $10 billion to build one nuclear reactor. By keeping the prohibition in place, Bradford says we are avoiding a train wreck for Minnesota taxpayers.

Minnesota Public Radio reports on his visit:
"Former regulator at Capitol argues against repeal of nuclear ban"
http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2010/02/08/nuclear-repeal/

Minnesota has made great progress toward a vibrant clean energy economy. Enacting a renewable energy standard plus establishing energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction goals made Minnesota a national leader in growing a clean energy economy. Manufacturing and installing wind turbines, solar panels and other renewable technologies have provided economic benefits throughout Minnesota.

Moving away from renewable energy towards nuclear power would undermine years of progress. Repealing the state law that prohibits the construction of new nuclear reactors is a step in the wrong direction. Minnesota’s prohibition on the construction of new nuclear reactors was enacted for a good reason — we had no safe, long-term storage for our existing radioactive waste. That hasn’t changed. “Temporary” waste storage casks are still on the banks of the Mississippi River. The federal nuclear waste storage site at Yucca Mountain is not open and enmeshed in problems. Just like in the 1990s, these problems are still with us. Yet clean, renewable energy technology has surged forward. The choice is clear.

More nuclear energy is not a sensible or cost-effective solution to increasing our energy independence – in fact, it distracts us from increasing investments in homegrown and clean renewable energy sources like wind and solar.

We must uphold the long-standing prohibition on the construction of new nuclear reactors in Minnesota. Allowing more nuclear power into the state’s energy mix threatens progress toward Minnesota’s clean energy future and exacerbates current economic and environmental problems. Instead, Minnesota should stay committed to investments in clean energy technologies and renewable power generation.

More Info

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Message
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Uphold Minnesota’s nuclear moratorium


Dear Representative,

Minnesota has made great progress toward a vibrant clean energy economy and allowing new nuclear reactors in our energy mix will undermine years of progress. More nuclear energy is not a sensible or cost-effective solution to increasing our energy independence – in fact, it distracts us from increasing investments in homegrown and clean renewable energy sources like wind and solar.

Minnesota’s moratorium on the construction of new nuclear reactors was enacted for a good reason – we had no safe, long-term storage for our existing radioactive waste. That hasn’t changed. Keep Minnesota on the path as a national leader in the clean energy economy and maintain the nuclear moratorium.

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