The man loves nuclear power and he’s sticking to it, nevermind Japan:
FRANKFORT — Although Kentucky is known to experience earthquakes, the explosions and radiation leaks at a nuclear power plant in earthquake-ravaged Japan should not discourage the state from expanding into nuclear power, state Sen. Bob Leeper, a Paducah independent, said Monday.
For the past three years, including the just-concluded 2011 legislative session, Leeper has sponsored bills that would repeal the state’s moratorium on the construction of nuclear power plants in Kentucky. His latest effort was approved by the Senate 31-5 on Feb. 8 but died in the House.
“It’s way too early to talk about throwing in the towel,” Leeper said.
“As with any other disaster, you’ve got to see how everything plays out,” he said. “You’ve got to wait and see what works and what doesn’t work. It’s too early to determine whether or not this makes the case that we can safely develop nuclear energy.”
Yes, it would certainly be a rush to judgment to not halt production of nuclear power plants in Kentucky. You betcha.
But remember folks, if we can’t produce it, we can still store it:
President Obama has called for a new generation of nuclear-power plants. But when he abandoned plans to store the nation’s nuclear waste in Nevada’s Yucca Mountain, he effectively forced states eager to break ground on reactors to accept the idea of keeping that waste within their borders—not a popular idea since the Three Mile Island meltdown. But could Kentucky become home to an alternative? Its state Senate recently approved a bill that would OK nuclear-waste storage. And Kerri Richardson, a spokeswoman for Gov. Steve Beshear, says storing other states’ waste “would certainly attract a lot of interest from our administration.”
For a coal-rich area without an existing plant, Kentucky’s openness is a sign, say energy analysts, that anxiety about waste storage is waning. It’s “a tipping point,” says Vanderbilt professor Charles Powers, an expert on nuclear-waste solutions. Still, don’t expect resistance to end overnight: Kentucky’s bill could die in the House, as did two previous versions. But if this isn’t the year the state’s nuclear future arrives, Beshear says he won’t be deterred.
Get off the nuclear industry’s back, and let them pour their liquid goodies into our wallet, er, mountains.
What the hell could go wrong?
Also, I’d still rather switch to nuclear power from coal power in Kentucky any day. It’s cleaner and healthier, as crazy as that sounds.