WELCH, Minn., April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- The Prairie Island Indian Community today expressed its great disappointment in President Clinton's veto of legislation to store the nation's hazardous nuclear waste in a national storage facility in the Nevada desert. The Community is located just 600 yards from a nuclear power plant and nuclear waste storage site operated by Northern States Power (NSP). The Nevada facility would have removed the nuclear waste from Prairie Island and other commercial power plant sites by decade's end. "With the president's veto, the federal government has once again failed to keep its promise to deal with the nation's nuclear waste problem," said Audrey Kohnen, Prairie Island Tribal Council President. "The government continues to demonstrate a gross disregard for our health and safety by allowing this problem to persist. If the government and the power companies don't have an answer for how to deal with nuclear waste, maybe they should stop producing the waste." In 1994, the Minnesota Legislature, despite opposition from Prairie Island Indian Community, authorized NSP to store up to 17 casks of nuclear waste next to the company's Prairie Island nuclear power plant. The power plant is adjacent to the reservation. NSP currently has filled nine nuclear waste casks stored outside the power plant. "We are very concerned that Prairie Island will become a permanent storage site if the national storage site isn't allowed to move forward," said Kohnen. "We must not allow that to happen. We will continue our fight to get the nuclear waste removed from Prairie Island as soon as possible." The Prairie Island Indian Community is located on a small reservation (534 acres) 30 minutes southeast of Minneapolis/St. Paul along the Mississippi River. Only about half of Community's 550 members are able to live on the reservation.
SOURCE Prairie Island Indian Community