Feb 22, 2011 4:35 PM by David Ortiviz

Proposed energy park goes to planning commission

Pueblo Attorney Don Banner will present a plan tonight to build a clean energy park in southeast Pueblo County that would include a nuclear power plant. The Sierra Club has voiced opposition to any nuclear power plant, calling it a dangerous form of energy.

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

Banner has proposed building the project on 24,000 acres of land southeast of Highway 50 E. near Avondale. The land is currently zoned for agricultural use. Banner is requesting the land be re-zoned to build his proposed energy park.

The planning commission board is expected to vote on proposed zoning change. Their recommendation would need to be approved by Pueblo County Commissioners.

Banner's plan would include an energy park 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 is strongly opposed to a nuclear power plant. "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.



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