[ RadSafe ] Scientist joins effort to repeal nuclear-plant ban

Cary Renquist cary.renquist at ezag.com
Tue Sep 1 10:58:39 CDT 2009


Political Notebook: Scientist joins effort to repeal nuclear-plant ban
8/31/2009 8:15:02 AM

A Rochester scientist is part of a new coalition pushing for the repeal
of Minnesota's ban on building new nuclear plants.

Richard Vetter, a professor in biophysics specializing in the study of
radiation at Mayo Clinic, is serving as board of advisers for Sensible
Energy Solutions for Minnesota. The nonprofit, founded earlier this
month, plans to lobby Minnesota lawmakers to get rid of the nuclear
moratorium. The bipartisan groups include labor, business and
environmental leaders.

This past legislative session, the Senate voted in favor of repealing
the nuclear ban. But the measure failed to pass in the House. Vetter
said with the nation's growing energy needs it is important to consider
nuclear energy as a way of providing clean energy. Unlike coal, he said,
nuclear power does not emit carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas tied to
global warming.

"For me, the main thing is we need to give our utilities some option on
developing new sources of carbon-free baseload electricity because we
can't just keep building new coal plants," Vetter said.

What about nuclear storage? Vetter said that is a problem that needs to
be addressed. He said casks used to store the waste are safe for the
short term. He said the question becomes whether the U.S. wants to do
what France is doing and begin reprocessing nuclear fuel.

Heather J. Carlson covers politics for the Post-Bulletin. Her Political
Notebook column runs every Monday with items concerning political issues
affecting southeastern Minnesota.

More information about the RadSafe mailing list