The possible expansion of nuclear power in Iowa will likely be debated during the upcoming legislative session that begins next week. Legislation that would have made it easier to construct new nuclear power plants in the state failed to pass last year after increased concerns of a nuclear meltdown tied to the earthquake in Japan.
Sonia Ashe with the Iowa Public Interest Research Group says plans for nuclear power expansion should also be dismissed this session.
“Our research into Iowa’s energy options identified nuclear power as one of the most expensive approaches to meeting Iowa’s energy needs and certainly the most financially risky,” according to Ashe. At this point, it’s unclear how much the construction of a new plant would cost.
“Iowans would be forced to pay a lot more now for uncertainties in the future. Worse they would be on the hook for covering the costs and the risks associated with the nuclear power plants without a final guarantee of costs and no guarantee that a reactor would be built at the end of the day at all.”
MidAmerican Energy pushed for the change in the legislation and Ashe says the company would pay for new plants by raising the rates of their customers.