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Feb 21, 2011 2:50 PM by Greg Boyce

Energy park proposal would include nuclear plant

Pueblo Attorney Don Banner will present a plan at tomorrow's Pueblo Planning and Zoning Commission meeting to build a clean energy park in southeast Pueblo County that would include a nuclear power plant.

The Pueblo Planning and Zoning Commission will meet at 5 p.m. at 1001 N. Santa Fe Ave in the Pueblo County Conference Room.

Banner's plan would include an energy park of 24,000 acres that would welcome all forms of energy, including wind, solar, geo-thermal and bio-mass, and most importantly nuclear.  The only type of energy that would not be included is coal-fired electric generation.  Banner says without nuclear the project would not be viable.  His idea is to answer the nuclear question before any developer comes forward to build one.  He reasons no company will build a nuclear plant in a community that doesn't want one.

The Sierra Club will appear to oppose any nuclear power plant because it is a dangerous form of energy.  "The risks and hazards of nuclear energy are not a thing of the past. Malfunctions, leaks, and severe lapses in basic safety and oversight continue to occur on a regular basis at nuclear power plants across the country. High level waste remains on-site at nuclear plants, as there is no permanent disposal site," said Joan Seeman, Nuclear Issues Specialist for the Sierra Club.

Banner counters that the Sierra Club of California was in favor of nuclear power plants in the early 70s, taking an opposition stance in 1975.

Banner estimates construction of a nuclear power plant would employ 2,500 to 5,000 people for four or five years, and would employ 400 to 700 people after that to run the plant.

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