Prairie Island Indian Community Disappointed by Presidential Veto of Nuclear Waste Bill

Apr 26, 2000, 01:00 ET from Prairie Island Indian Community

    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

SOURCE Prairie Island Indian Community