Fulton Residents Protest Nuclear Plans

1 decade 6 months 3 weeks ago Wednesday, March 28 2007 Mar 28, 2007 Wednesday, March 28, 2007 4:17:59 PM CDT March 28, 2007 in News

Melissa Nigh of Fulton says expanding nuclear energy near her home is a bad idea.

"Perhaps the nuclear power plant seems fairly safe, the act of getting the fuel, the uranium, to run the power plant causes lots and lots of pollution," Nigh explained.

She says other energy options are available that can eliminate the serious risks imposed by nuclear fission. Mark Haim, Director of Columbia Peaceworks, agrees with Nigh.

"It's time to start investing heavily in renewable energy sources, and that means wind, it means solar, it means biomass, and we can do that, we have the technical know-how and America's a resource rich country - our great plains are the Saudi Arabia of wind," Haim said.

Haim and others say nuclear energy poses serious risks to the environment, especially in the transport of nuclear wastes. Some say an additional nuclear reactor at the Callaway County plant will create a greater risk for radiological accidents.

While there is opposition to current plans there are those out there not only in favor of expanding the plant, but also of nuclear power in general. Nuclear engineering students like Kati Grey feel nuclear energy is a feasible energy choice.

"Nuclear power is safe, clean and reliable. I think it is one of our best options right now," Grey said.

Ameren UE says support for nuclear power is high, but no official decisions have been made. The company looks to have some form of new energy source online by 2017. Ameren UE may use an energy source that's not nuclear. The company plans to explore other options like wind and coal.

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