Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds says the crisis at nuclear power plants in Japan should not slow the process of building a new nuclear plant in Iowa.
Iowa already has one nuclear power station in eastern Iowa, and legislators are considering a bill which deals with the state permits for nuclear power plants in Iowa. The lieutenant governor says Iowa should consider all forms of energy production, including nuclear power.
“They don’t happen overnight. It’s a seven to eight year process in order to move towards nuclear production, but I think we need to continue to look at all alternative fuels and that’s one of them,” Reynolds says. “And we’re doing it in a thoughtful and sustainable manner as we move forward at looking at opportunities to provide additional sources.”
Nuclear power plants provide about a fifth of the power used in the U.S. each year, but a 1979 accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear power station in Pennsylvania galvanized opposition to the construction of new nuclear power plants in the United States. Reynolds says she hopes the situation in Japan doesn’t spark new opposition to plans for nuclear facilities in Iowa.
“I think it’s a different day. Technology is different. We’re looking at smaller facilities across the state of Iowa so there’s a lot of opportunity there,” Reynolds says, And we need to continually research that, take a look at it. You need to do it in a systematic, thoughtful manner, but it’s a form of alternative energy that we need tolook at to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”
Reynolds, who is a Republican, says her foreign trade mission to Japan and Taiwan, scheduled for September, has “not yet” been cancelled due to the devastation in the region.
Reports indicate leaders in Germany are reacting to the nuclear crisis in Japan, deciding against keeping the country’s 17 nuclear power plants open a dozen years beyond their scheduled shut-down dates. It appears Germany will then be “nuclear free” by 2021.
Reynolds made her comments this morning during a statehouse news conference. Listen to the March14NewsConf