Tuesday, July 19th, 2022
This past week I enjoyed a rare opportunity to tour one of Minnesota’s two nuclear power facilities. Prairie Island has been operational since 1973 and has been regularly regarded as one of the safest plants in the country. Unfortunately, while this trip showed a promising opportunity for American energy independence, Minnesota still imposes a moratorium on building new nuclear generators.
Nuclear energy has had a poor reputation in the public eye for far too long. Most of this fear resonates from the dramatization of events like Chernobyl or Three Mile Island. In reality, these plants are some of the safest facilities in the world, designed with multiple fail safes and redundancies designed to stop incidents from repeating themselves. In all of the major nuclear disasters, each failure can be attributed not to mechanical error but to human error. At Three Mile Island, the plant operated perfectly and shut down as it was supposed to. Each one of these disasters has been a learning experience that has shown the industry where they need to make improvements.
I learned about and even saw up close the controversial onsite dry cask storage on tour. These containers are built to withstand anything and can even withstand a fully loaded train derailment. The storage of spent uranium is likely the second most controversial piece of nuclear power. Yet thanks to technological developments, countries like France have started to recycle up to 90% of this waste and reuse it in their reactors.
Nuclear energy has come a long way and holds some of the secrets to finding a truly sustainable, carbon-free energy resource. Instead of depending on slave labor from other countries and destroying the environment overseas in the mining, processing, manufacturing, and recycling of” Green Energy” products, we must find a more viable solution for our energy needs. Nuclear is the quickest way to produce carbon-free energy, and it is time the laws in Minnesota finally caught up to reflect that. We must lift our moratorium on new nuclear reactors and allow our existing three reactors to continue to deliver round-the-clock, reliable energy. If we do not take action, our three reactors will be decommissioned in just thirteen years.
Thank you for being engaged in your government,
State Representative, 23B
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact my office or me. We are still attempting to provide regular contact remotely, so if you have other needs, please email my Legislative Assistant, Grayson, at Grayson.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Watch the Minnesota House on Public TV
Video: Streaming Website. Also, you can watch committees and Floor Sessions on YouTube.