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DOE Seeks Licensing Approval for Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Storage Site

169 million Americans currently live near temporary nuclear waste storage


RED WING, Minn., June 5 /PRNewswire/ -- A Minnesota Indian tribe is again echoing the need for a national nuclear waste repository following the formal license application to build an underground storage facility at Yucca Mountain. High-level, radioactive nuclear waste from the nation's nuclear power plants is currently accumulating at 'temporary' storage sites in 39 different states.

Located just 600 yards from 24 large containment units of highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel, the Prairie Island Indian Community in Red Wing, Minn. is among the closest communities in the country to a temporary waste site. According to the Department of Energy, there are 125 of these facilities throughout the United States and more than 169 million Americans reside within 75 miles of them.

"The recent filing with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is an important step forward in establishing a permanent storage facility for the nation's nuclear waste," said Prairie Island Tribal Council President Ron Johnson. "We urge Congress to commit to a national storage solution and continue funding this vital effort."

Developing a safe, permanent storage facility for spent nuclear fuel is critical to the health and welfare of the millions of Americans currently living near temporary storage sites and the federal government is required by the National Nuclear Waste Storage Act to establish an underground repository.

"Prairie Island believes the federal government must deliver on its promise to move the nation's nuclear waste to a safe, secure facility before it embraces the apparent nuclear power renaissance and turns to nuclear power as a preferred energy source for this country," said Johnson. "Until a permanent storage site is developed, it is irresponsible to consider building new nuclear power plants."

About Prairie Island

Prairie Island is located in southeastern Minnesota along the banks of the Mississippi River, approximately 50 miles from the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Twin nuclear reactors and two dozen large cement nuclear waste storage casks sit just 600 yards from Prairie Island tribal homes. As many as 35 additional casks will be added in the coming years. The only evacuation route off the Prairie Island is frequently blocked by passing trains. The tribe has been fighting to have the nuclear waste removed since 1994 when the state of Minnesota first allowed Xcel Energy to store the waste near its reservation.

SOURCE Prairie Island Indian Community
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