From the Colorado Independent (David O. Williams):
In the wake of the Japan’s ongoing crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant northeast of Tokyo, more than just the so-called “dirty front end” of nuclear power – Colorado’s rich but sometimes toxic uranium mining history – is being called into question. The issues of waste storage at the state’s only nuclear power plant – the now-defunct Fort St. Vrain – and a lack of water to cool future reactors also are being hotly debated.
Still, Udall remains resolute in his support of increased nuclear power as a means of reducing the amount of carbon-spewing fossil fuels being burned to generate electricity and as a way to convert the nation’s transportation system from gas-powered to electric vehicles. In a statement last week to the Colorado Independent, Udall urged caution in moving ahead on nuclear power but reiterated his determination to do so.
“Our need to tackle climate change hasn’t gone away,” Udall said. “I’m a realist, and if you want to substitute electricity for petroleum in transportation, nuclear has to be part of the equation. However, any new nuclear power plants that are built — be they in Colorado or elsewhere in the United States — must involve lots of input from the local community and include robust permitting requirements, safety protocols and oversight.”