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Archive for Friday, January 26, 2007

Wanted: nuclear power

January 26, 2007

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More nuclear power is what lawmakers want for the Sunflower State. Enlarge video

"We think that would be good for the state of Kansas and certainly good for Coffey County," explained Whitney Damron, who spoke on behalf of the Coffey County Board of Commissioners.

They're in favor of bringing more nuclear power to their area, and they say a 10 year property tax exemption could help make that happen.

The popularity of nuclear power is growing around the world, but that growth has been stunted on U.S. soil.

"According to the Nuclear Energy institute, in January of this year there were 29 nuclear power plants under construction around the world, none in the United States," Damron explained.

Proponents of the plan say the new generation of nuclear plants for this country have not been built. That means a lot is unknown. And in business unknown equals risk.

Supporters say that's why the industry needs some monetary motivation in the form of a tax break.

"The passage of this bill will put Kansas in a better position," Phil Wages, with the Kansas Electric Power Cooperative.

But not everyone agrees.

"I represent the Kansas chapter of the Sierra Club. I have come today to speak in opposition," explained Tom Thompson.

Thompson says in all the rush to bring business to Kansas, lawmakers are losing sight of the bigger picture.

"Nuclear power is controversial and one of the most expensive ways to meet the energy needs of the rate payers," Thompson added.

He also believes before throwing money at power companies, lawmakers should consider all the options.

"Today there are other things than can be done that are far more effective and far cheaper," he added.

And he hopes Kansas can avoid jumping on the glowing bandwagon of the nuclear power craze that's sweeping the world.

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