RED WING, Minn., June 5 /PRNewswire/ -- A Minnesota Indian tribe is
again echoing the need for a national nuclear waste repository following
the formal license application to build an underground storage facility at
Yucca Mountain. High-level, radioactive nuclear waste from the nation's
nuclear power plants is currently accumulating at 'temporary' storage sites
in 39 different states.
Located just 600 yards from 24 large containment units of highly
radioactive spent nuclear fuel, the Prairie Island Indian Community in Red
Wing, Minn. is among the closest communities in the country to a temporary
waste site. According to the Department of Energy, there are 125 of these
facilities throughout the United States and more than 169 million Americans
reside within 75 miles of them.
"The recent filing with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is an
important step forward in establishing a permanent storage facility for the
nation's nuclear waste," said Prairie Island Tribal Council President Ron
Johnson. "We urge Congress to commit to a national storage solution and
continue funding this vital effort."
Developing a safe, permanent storage facility for spent nuclear fuel is
critical to the health and welfare of the millions of Americans currently
living near temporary storage sites and the federal government is required
by the National Nuclear Waste Storage Act to establish an underground
"Prairie Island believes the federal government must deliver on its
promise to move the nation's nuclear waste to a safe, secure facility
before it embraces the apparent nuclear power renaissance and turns to
nuclear power as a preferred energy source for this country," said Johnson.
"Until a permanent storage site is developed, it is irresponsible to
consider building new nuclear power plants."
About Prairie Island
Prairie Island is located in southeastern Minnesota along the banks of
the Mississippi River, approximately 50 miles from the Twin Cities of
Minneapolis and St. Paul. Twin nuclear reactors and two dozen large cement
nuclear waste storage casks sit just 600 yards from Prairie Island tribal
homes. As many as 35 additional casks will be added in the coming years.
The only evacuation route off the Prairie Island is frequently blocked by
passing trains. The tribe has been fighting to have the nuclear waste
removed since 1994 when the state of Minnesota first allowed Xcel Energy to
store the waste near its reservation.
SOURCE Prairie Island Indian Community