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Chamber of Commerce unhappy with nuclear power vote

The Minnesota House vote to retain a ban on nuclear energy drew strong criticism Friday from David Olson, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce president.

“We’re extremely disappointed by the Minnesota House vote. It’s shortsighted and presents a dangerous scenario for this state’s base-load energy needs,” he said.

The Minnesota House voted 72-60 to keep the ban on additional nuclear power in place. Earlier this month, the Senate voted 42-24 to remove the ban.

“That means 102 legislators voted to repeal the gag rule that prevents regulators from talking about nuclear energy,” Olson said. “Why won’t the other 96 lawmakers even let us seriously consider it?”

Olson said there may soon be an electricity shortage and that the Legislature has to take the problem seriously.

“The Legislature’s action prohibits a serious discussion of new nuclear as an option to meet our needs and essentially says that Minnesota’s base-load energy policy is ‘just say no.’”

Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Ross Williams on 05/01/2009 - 12:14 pm.

    “Olson said there may soon be an electricity shortage”

    That is very unlikely. There is currently a large surplus of base load power and that surplus will continue to grow as modern conservation measures are implemented.

    The financial viability of nuclear power depends on government taking on much of the future risk, while private utilities make the profits. Its a lot like the situation with the banks that created our current financial crisis.

    Nuclear power has a large up front capital investment that utilities are guaranteed to make a profit on. Similar base load plants produce the same power with lower initial capital investments, but higher operating costs. Utilities don’t make a profit on those operating costs.

    The utilities will claim the higher initial investment ultimately pays for itself with lower operating costs. But once you add the cost of insurance for potential accidents and disposal of waste to the costs, nuclear power becomes very expensive. Those are the costs the taxpayers are supposed to cover.

    Global warming has certainly made nuclear power more attractive. But the existing technology of large base load nuclear power plants is becoming rapidly out of date. Even if the future is nuclear, it is likely to be smaller, safer decentralized generators that make it possible. Those are still in the experimental stage.

  2. Submitted by Glenn Mesaros on 05/01/2009 - 01:55 pm.

    Look at the facts as presented in the above documentary.

    Look at the south Texas project:

    Look at France and Japan: 75% nuclear, and they run high speed trains. Guess what? They recycle nuclear “waste” into more energy.

    The whole world is building nuclear power plants. The technology is ready now, and anyone who says not is lying, and should revisit a high school science class. Will Minnesota be the last Luddites on the planet who reject the safest, cheapest technology on earth.

    The only reason nuclear power plants are expensive is because environmental idiots created legislation to punish nuclear power, while giving billions to stupid, inefficient energy such as wind and solar.

  3. Submitted by William Pappas on 05/03/2009 - 11:11 pm.

    Sorry Mr. Mesaros, the up front costs of nucler are huge and the insurance on the plant is always carried by the taxpayer so nuclear can be profitable to the utility. There is no resolution for storage. Meanwhile wind and solar have already arived and offer a decentralized and safer means of energy production as well as one less vulnerable to terrorism. The best future of wind and solar is that they are owned by smaller and smaller entities which creates more local jobs, keeps money in communities, stimulates small business startups and litterally creates energy out of thin air. What could be better than that.

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