In 1994, Minnesota's largest utility, then known as Northern States Power, went to the state Legislature with a controversial request. The cooling pool where NSP stored spent nuclear fuel inside its Prairie Island plant was nearly full. The company wanted to store additional waste outside, in steel casks.
After months of bitter debate, lawmakers granted permission for 17 casks.
Nine years later, the casks are full and the company, now Xcel Energy, is back at the Capitol asking for more.