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Nuke study sought

JoDee Gamst tells a House committee Wednesday that the Prairie Island Indian Community supports a bill to study how to best monitor radiation and heat escaping from the nearby nuclear plant. Photo by Don Davis

ST. PAUL - Two studies of emissions from the Prairie Island nuclear power plant would be required under a bill moving through the Minnesota House.

JoDee Gamst, representing the Prairie Island Indian Community, told a House public health committee Wednesday that health stakes are too high to leave the situation without adequate monitoring.

Rep. Karen Clark, DFL-Minneapolis, said those who live near the Red Wing plant are concerned that current monitoring is inadequate and her bill would establish two studies to determine the best system of monitors.

Xcel Energy, which owns the plant, and a special fund set up when concrete casks were first used to store waste nuclear matter would fund the study.

All nuclear waste produced by the two reactors is stored at the plant.

Clark told of concerns that hot water coming from the plant can hurt the ecosystem and radiation can affect people.

The Minnesota study committees would include a variety of representatives, including one from Pierce County.

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.