2014

Prairie Island Community Responds to Xcel Energy's Plans to Seek More Nuclear Waste Storage Tribe has Legal and Moral Authority to Limit Nuclear Waste at Prairie Island



    PRAIRIE ISLAND, Minn., Dec. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The Prairie Island Indian
 Community today reaffirmed its opposition to expanding nuclear waste storage
 at Prairie Island.  The tribe's announcement is in response to Xcel Energy's
 2002 Resource Plan and disclosure that it plans to continue operating the
 Prairie Island nuclear power plant and will likely seek permission from the
 2003 Minnesota Legislature to store additional nuclear waste at Prairie
 Island.  Xcel Energy's Resource Plan was filed late Monday with the Public
 Utilities Commission.
     As an involuntary neighbor of nuclear power for nearly 30 years and the
 closest community in the country to a nuclear power plant and nuclear waste
 site, the tribe is vital to whether Xcel Energy's Prairie Island nuclear power
 plant will be allowed to continue to operate.
     In 1994, as part of the legislation that first allowed then-Northern
 States Power Company to store nuclear waste at Prairie Island, NSP and the
 state signed an agreement effectively limiting storage to 17 casks.  The
 Prairie Island Indian Community was made an intended third-party beneficiary
 with standing to enforce the agreement.  The agreement, including the storage
 limitation, cannot be changed without the tribe's permission.
     Although the Prairie Island Indian Community is opposed to additional
 nuclear waste storage at Prairie Island, the tribe has been willing to sit
 down with Xcel and the state to discuss possible solutions that would address
 the tribe's health and safety needs, and allow the plant to continue
 operating.
     The Prairie Island Indian Community's health and safety needs include a
 secondary evacuation route off Prairie Island, land for tribal members who
 don't want to live near the plant and compensation for emergency planning and
 preparedness.  The Prairie Island Indian Community is located only 600 yards
 from the nuclear power plant and nuclear waste site.
     The tribe's health and safety needs have intensified due to the events of
 Sept. 11, 2001 and the ongoing threat of terrorism against nuclear power
 plants in the United States.  Adding to the tribe's concern, in the event of
 an accident, there is only one permanent evacuation route off Prairie Island,
 and it's frequently blocked by train activity and subject to seasonal
 flooding.
     The Prairie Island Indian Community is a federally recognized Indian
 Nation, located 50 minutes southeast of the Twin Cities along the Mississippi
 River.
 
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SOURCE Prairie Island Indian Community

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