Talks Are Held Over Nuclear Power

Tuesday, November 27th 2007, 2:41 pm
By: News On 6

State lawmakers met on Tuesday to discuss the possibility of building a nuclear power plant in Oklahoma. Local representatives say increased energy demand has forced them to examine options like nuclear power. The News On 6’s Chris Wright reports for now it is just a discussion about nuclear power with no actual plans to build a plant. But if that changes, opponents have promised they'll do what it takes to stop its construction.

It's a discussion many thought they would never see again. At the Oklahoma Capitol Tuesday morning, Proponents of nuclear power discussed the possibility of building a plant in Oklahoma.

"We need electricity from all sources, and nuclear energy is one of the sources that is reliable and safe,” said Mike McGarey with the Nuclear Energy Institution.

The Oklahoma House Energy and Technology Committee says it held the talks because Oklahoma, just like the rest of the nation, needs to examine alternative energy sources. They say the demand for electricity will rise drastically in the coming decades.

"When you look at the rest of the nation and the world, they're starting to turn to nuclear energy. I wanted to make sure Oklahoma considered that option,” said Representative Doug Cox, a Grove Republican.

That option won't be supported by Oklahoma's major power producers. Both OGandE and PSO say a new plant would be too costly, and take far too long to build. Activist Bob Rounsavell, a member of the Carrie Dickerson Foundation, couldn't agree more.

"What we want people to know is that nuclear is not the clean and safe form that proponents are touting,” said Bob Rounsavell.

It was 25 years ago, that the group's namesake, Carrie Dickerson, stood up against PSO and helped prevent the proposed Blackfox Nuclear Plant in Inola. After a nine year struggle, PSO backed down, and the plant was never built. Carrie Dickerson passed away last year.

"The issue of the toxic waste by-product from nuclear has not been resolved. I'm wondering what have they done in the intervening 20 years or so?” asks Bob Rounsavell with the Carrie Dickerson Foundation.

Earlier this year, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the construction of two new plants in Texas. Those will be the first to be built in the US in nearly 30 years. Lawmakers estimate that a plant in Oklahoma would cost $5 billion to $6 billion and take eight to ten years to build.

Watch the video: Discussion Held About Nuclear Energy