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Utah Senate committee calls for nuclear power – not everyone is happy

Nuclear power in Utah? Senators say ‘yes, please,by Michael Locklear, February 5th 2019 , State lawmakers are considering a non-binding resolution welcoming nuclear power to Utah, although opponents are concerned about the radioactive waste it would generate.

The resolution, sponsored by Republican Sen. Curt Bramble of Provo, was passed out of a Senate committee on Monday.

It “recognizes that advanced nuclear technology is a safe, resilient, and environmentally sustainable energy resource.”……..

Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems, working with a company called NuScale, is planning a nuclear facility to be built in Idaho. It’s now moving through the regulatory process. Construction could begin in 2026. ………

Michael Simpson, the chair of the University of Utah’s metallurgical engineering department  said nuclear power is cleaner, but he raised concerns about the cost and the nuclear waste.

“The state of Utah should be wary of starting a project to build a nuclear reactor if there’s no place for them to send the fuel,” Simpson said.

“It really is incredibly poisonous stuff,” said Michael Shea of the environmental nonprofit HEAL Utah, “and even if they can store it within the site itself, there’s still a lot of potential for contamination or accidents.” ………

A spokeswoman for Rocky Mountain Power said the utility had no plans to build a nuclear facility, with a statement that reads: “Our most recent Integrated Resource Plan (2017 IRP) included a cost analysis that reflected nuclear generation to be more costly than other resources. However, we are always evaluating emerging technologies to support future needs.”

The resolution now moves to the full Senate.

February 7, 2019 - Posted by | politics, USA

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