Nuclear power moratorium remains in Minnesota

The Prairie Island power facility
The Prairie Island nuclear power plant, near Red Wing, Minn., is one of two nuclear plants in the state. The other is near Monticello, Minn.
Photo Courtesy of the Minnesota Department of Commerce

The Minnesota House has rejected an effort to lift the state's ban on new nuclear power plants.

Lawmakers voted 70-62 today to uphold a 1994 moratorium on the construction of nuclear facilities. The vote was an amendment to an energy policy bill.

Supporters of the repeal argue nuclear power is a clean energy option that should be on the table for future consideration. Gov. Pawlenty also supported lifting the moratorium.

But opponents say they're concerned about the storage of radioactive waste.

Rep. Frank Hornstein, DFL-Minneapolis, says the issues that led to the 1994 law are still not resolved.

"We hear about advancement in technology, but we haven't solved the issue of waste -- a million-year radioactive toxic legacy that we'll pass on to untold generations," said Hornstein.

The House action came a month after the state Senate voted 42-24 to repeal the moratorium.

Minnesota has two nuclear power facilities near Monticello and Red Wing.

Before you keep reading ...

MPR News is made by Members. Gifts from individuals fuel the programs that you and your neighbors rely on. Donate today to power news, analysis, and community conversations for all.