Eastern Iowans might want to pay closer attention to the debate over storage of nuclear waste in the proposed Yucca Mountain site in Nevada. It turns out, there’s a large deposit of spent nuclear fuel sitting on an island in the Mississippi River just north of the Iowa border — and it’s in a flood plain. Doreen Hagen, president of the Prairie Island Tribal Council in Minnesota, says the waste needs to go to Nevada. Hagen says “Because right now we have 17 nuclear waste storage casks sitting 600 yards from our community and it’s above ground on the Mississippi River and Yucca Mountain is a better place to be because it’s in a desert, about 90 miles from anywhere.” The state of Nevada is fighting the proposal, citing health and safety concerns with a nuclear waste dump. Hagen says her Native American community is closer to a nuclear power plant than any other in the nation. She says “Highly radioactive nuclear waste is something that we do not want in our backyard and sitting in a desert in the mountain is much better than sitting above ground on the Mississippi River, in a flood plain.” Hagen was among the speakers Monday in Washington D.C., asking Congress to fully fund the Yucca Mountain project. The plan is opposed by Nevada officials, some of whom say it appears federal energy officials falsified data used to establish the safety of the site.
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