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Editorial: Talk nuclear

Soaring high: We applaud the 50-some individuals who attended Wednesday's meeting about Prairie Island nuclear plant's request to increase generating capacity. This was among the first of many such opportunities in the coming 20 months.

Xcel Energy, which owns the two-unit nuclear plant, began a simultaneous two-track effort this spring for improvements at the plant. The federal track involves relicensing so the plant can operate another 25 years instead of another five. The state track involves increasing storage capacity for spent fuel. Together, the two tracks could result in upgrades and retrofits to gain efficiencies and boost power.

But only if it's safe and in the best interest of rate payers.

The plant has an excellent safety record. Plant officials have an excellent record of soliciting input from local citizens.

Area citizens Wednesday night again showed that they have an excellent record of engagement. Future hearings and information gathering sessions will be only as good as the people involved. We're off to a good start.

Rough landing: The individuals growing marijuana in a wooded section of rural Pierce County saw their illegal efforts go up in smoke this week. They had it coming.

Kudos to Pierce County authorities. They discovered the extensive farming operation and subsequently burned more than 180 pounds of pot. We hope the investigation leads to arrests.