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DOE Seeks Licensing Approval for Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Storage Site

Friday, June 6, 2008 General News J E 4
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RED WING, Minn., June 5 A Minnesota Indian tribe is againechoing the need for a national nuclear waste repository following the formallicense application to build an underground storage facility at YuccaMountain. High-level, radioactive nuclear waste from the nation's nuclearpower plants is currently accumulating at 'temporary' storage sites in 39different states.

Located just 600 yards from 24 large containment units of highlyradioactive spent nuclear fuel, the Prairie Island Indian Community in RedWing, Minn. is among the closest communities in the country to a temporarywaste site. According to the Department of Energy, there are 125 of thesefacilities throughout the United States and more than 169 million Americansreside within 75 miles of them.

"The recent filing with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is an importantstep forward in establishing a permanent storage facility for the nation'snuclear waste," said Prairie Island Tribal Council President Ron Johnson. "Weurge Congress to commit to a national storage solution and continue fundingthis vital effort."

Developing a safe, permanent storage facility for spent nuclear fuel iscritical to the health and welfare of the millions of Americans currentlyliving near temporary storage sites and the federal government is required bythe National Nuclear Waste Storage Act to establish an underground repository.

"Prairie Island believes the federal government must deliver on itspromise to move the nation's nuclear waste to a safe, secure facility beforeit embraces the apparent nuclear power renaissance and turns to nuclear poweras a preferred energy source for this country," said Johnson. "Until apermanent storage site is developed, it is irresponsible to consider buildingnew nuclear power plants."

About Prairie Island

Prairie Island is located in southeastern Minnesota along the banks of theMississippi River, approximately 50 miles from the Twin Cities of Minneapolisand St. Paul. Twin nuclear reactors and two dozen large cement nuclear wastestorage casks sit just 600 yards from Prairie Island tribal homes. As many as35 additional casks will be added in the coming years. The only evacuationroute off the Prairie Island is frequently blocked by passing trains. Thetribe has been fighting to have the nuclear waste removed since 1994 when thestate of Minnesota first allowed Xcel Energy to store the waste near itsreservation.

SOURCE Prairie Island Indian Community
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