Today was the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s meeting on Monticello Relicensing to gather comments on scope of the Environmental Impact Statement. So I went from meltdown of nuclear family (ugh, divorces are no fun) to meltdown of political and environmental policy that results in nuclear relicensing, all in 90 minutes and 75 miles! The Xcel company line has changed over the last 10 years though it has the same result, more nuclear power, and those who fiercely opposed nuclear power are now for the most part silenced, there’s virtually no turn out for a decision with a 10,000 year impact.

Xcel’s Jim Alders, manager of all the Xcel projects from hell, had this to say in a recent Pulse article:

?Nuclear power plants are part of our baseload facilities; they operate around the clock,? he said. ?We?re going to have to add hundreds and hundreds of megawatts of new power plants, just to keep up with the demand for electricity. That?s where there should be a vigorous debate about how much of that should be in renewables. You don?t increase the potential for renewable resources by doing away with nuclear power plants. What you do instead is make the cost of electricity more expensive.?

Xcel’s IRP echos Alder’s statements and adds lots and lots of coal to the mix. This is the energy future we face. Renewables? Don’t bet on it, and with this level of participation, or non-participation in nuclear relicensing of Monticello and Prairie Island, and dry cask storage on Monticello that won’t be going anywhere soon, there’s little room for renewables of any stripe. OH, and then there’s all that new coal… Check Xcel’s Baseload Need Assessment.

When I checked in, there was a sheet of notebook paper with a bunch of names, about 2/3 full, and I went to sign in, turns out that was a list of Xcel and Nuclear Management Company, LLC (NMC – NSP, and owners of WI and IA nuclear generation) spun off nuclear operations to NMC back in 2000) people who were there. So there was the usual handful, a few from the press, a couple state agency wonks, and 80% Xcel toadies. Only a handful spoke.


Kristen Eide Tollefson
, of Frontenac, and who runs the Bookhouse in Dinkytown, was there of course, and offered comments and questions about the SAMA. She’d submitted these comments on the Monticello EIS Scoping for the Certificate of Need for Dry Cask Storage. Today’s meeting had a similar purpose, but it’s a federal inquiry, more strict rules. Julie Risser, who wrote that great editorial in the Northfield News was there, the state observer for the League of Women Voters. George spoke, of course, and was shut down midstream, and Lea Foushee who had a powerful and heartfelt statement reminding us that the City of Minneapolis gets its water from the Mississippi.

Here’s the NRC site for the Monticello docket.
Here’s instructions for the NRC participatory novice.

And the EQB has a good linkable list of entries on its Monticello Certificate of Need Environmental Review docket. Here’s my EQB EIS scoping comment — the idea is to not limit the EQB inquiry to those issues the state may regulate, that’s VERY limited, because the state needs to gather information to be able to intervene at the NRC and represent Minnesota’s environmental interests, so I urged them to use this opportunity to build the record now. sigh…

My goal? If they insist on building Mesaba, shut down Monticello and Prairie Island and build coal gasification there. It’s all connected.

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