Energy policy — nuclear: What is the future of nuclear power generation in Colorado?

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From the Colorado Independent (David O. Williams):

Colorado Sen. Mark Udall has long been a proponent of launching a nuclear power renaissance in the United States to combat the climate change impacts of carbon-spewing fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas, which currently dominate as the nation’s preferred and cheapest methods of generating electricity. Nuclear, largely on hold in the U.S. since the Three Mile Island incident in Pennsylvania in 1979, still produces 20 percent of the nation’s electrical power. Udall would not directly address [Pueblo Attorney Don Banner’s] nuclear power plant concept in Pueblo, but the Democratic senator did say the earthquake and tsunami that crippled Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant should serve as a serious wake-up call for the nation’s new-found nuclear ambitions. “The tragedy in Japan should give us all pause,” Udall told the Colorado Independent this week. “It’s a reminder of how important it is to ensure we proceed carefully and cautiously on nuclear energy, especially regarding spent fuel storage. We need to review our own nuclear facilities and future plans to ensure we’re prepared not only for disaster, but also to deal with the waste.”

Spent nuclear fuel rods stored onsite at Fukushima Daiichi have exacerbated the crisis and hampered response efforts, and the New York Times this week reported similar waste-storage situations exist at many of the 104 nuclear reactors currently operating in the United States. Efforts to establish a national repository for spent nuclear fuel at Yucca Mountain in Nevada have been derailed by politics.

Mr. Williams reporting got him a recent gig on Rocky Mountain PBS show Colorado State of Mind.

More nuclear coverage here and here.

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