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Following energy issues in the state of Connecticut and beyond.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Gov. Rell Weighs in on Obama's Call for More Nuclear Power Plants


Part of President Obama's State of the Union speech Wednesday night called for the building of new nuclear power plants as part of a broad mix of energy sources for the country.

Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell said Thursday that calling for increased use of nuclear power may sound like a good idea, but making it happen won't be so easy.

"We'd be hard pressed to site one in the state of Connecticut," Rell said. "It's difficult to site when parochial interests are involved."

Connecticut is home to a pair of sites where spent nuclear fuel is being kept. Some of it is stored in a section of the former Connecticut Yankee nuclear power plant site in Haddam; the rest at Dominion Energy's Millstone nuclear generating station in Waterford.

Since 2006, Rell has actively supported efforts to get the federal government to move forward with its plans for a nuclear waste repository. The U.S. government established a fund in the early 1980s to build a centralized, permanent storage facility at Yucca Mountain, 90 miles north of Las Vegas.

But the project has seen numerous construction delays and isn’t expected to be completed until 2017. Further complicating efforts to keep the Yucca Mountain plan moving forward is that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has sought to block the multi-billion-dollar project’s completion.

But Rell declined to criticize Reid for his opposition to Yucca Mountain.

"I don't blame him," Rell said. "I think most people in his position would do the same thing."

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