Going nuclear

DFL Rep. Tim Walz and GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen appeared at a news conference this morning with representatives from various labor unions and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. The group is urging the Minnesota Legislature to repeal a moratorium on the expansion of nuclear power plants in Minnesota. They said the state’s future energy needs could be met by a new nuclear plant — something they say is safer than past nuclear projects.

Here’s the audio of the news conference:

DFL Rep. Bill Hilty of Finlayson isn’t convinced. Hilty said he’s not against the expansion of nuclear power but wants proof that it’s “capable of being brought online on time, on budget and at a reasonable cost to rate payers:”

“As soon as anyone anywhere on the planet can demonstrate that this next generation of reactors is capable of being built on time, on budget and at a reasonable cost of electricity then it’s time for us to look at it but Minnesota does not need to be a nuclear guinea pig.”

The issue will be one to watch in the upcoming legislative session. The Minnesota Senate passed an amendment last session that would remove the moratorium but similar efforts were defeated in the Minnesota House on a 72 to 60 vote.

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