Letter: Useful nuclear storage exists: Yucca MountainThe Prairie Island Indian Community continues to protest the spent fuel casks at Xcel Energy's nearby Prairie Island nuclear plant.
By: Rolf Westgard, The Republican Eagle
To the Editor:
The Prairie Island Indian Community continues to protest the spent fuel casks at Xcel Energy's nearby Prairie Island nuclear plant. The tribe’s general counsel recently asked, “Why do you have to keep it here?”
One reason for keeping it there is that it was the fuel that supplied low-cost, reliable, round-the-clock electric power to southern Minnesota. Those casks are not a hazard to human health and won’t be for decades.
Of course, we need permanent geologic storage for them. And if the tribe’s protests help spur some federal action that way, good for them.
We do have a perfectly useful storage site for spent nuclear fuel casks at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. Ten billion dollars of the funds assessed on nuclear power users for geologic storage have been spent on it.
The Obama administration has stopped work at Yucca Mountain and is even dismantling the facility. A recent report to the U.S. Senate from the General Accounting Office states that the Obama administration’s closing of the Yucca Mountain nuclear storage facility “was made for political reasons, not technical or safety reasons.”
There was a faint hope that we could hear something about the issue
in Charlotte last week. No such luck.