2 Minn. gov hopefuls say lift nuclear bar; 1 won’t

Published 7:14 am Monday, August 23, 2010

Associated Press

ST. PAUL — Two of three contenders for Minnesota governor say they support lifting a longtime ban on new nuclear power plants in the state.

Republican Tom Emmer and the Independence Party’s Tom Horner say they would support efforts to repeal Minnesota’s moratorium. The bar in place since 1994 prohibits the construction of new nuclear power plants.

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Democrat Mark Dayton says it would be “irresponsible” to lift the prohibition until issues surrounding nuclear waste storage are resolved.

Horner says the debate over waste is constrained by the moratorium.

The nuclear issue has been percolating in the Legislature.

Those who want to open the door to new nuclear plants say they could help the state meet growing power needs and renewable energy goals. Minnesota has two nuclear plants near Monticello and Red Wing.

The candidates made their remarks at a debate at the University of St. Thomas sponsored by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal