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Nuclear Hearing Draws Eastern Washington
Support, Western Washington Opposition

by Staff
Tri-City Herald, February 13, 2015

A proposed small modular nuclear reactor. Testimony on Thursday on a trio of pro-nuclear energy bills by Sen. Sharon Brown, R-Kennewick, was mostly split along geographic lines.

Eastern Washington interests mostly liked them and Western Washington interests mostly did not at the hearing of the Senate Energy, Environment and Telecommunications Committee.

Six people testified via video link from Columbia Basin College, including James Conca, a Tri-City-based contributor to Forbes on energy and nuclear issues.

Washington state enjoys the highest standard of living with the lowest emissions of toxic chemicals, including carbon, of any place in the nation, and likely any place in the world, because of its nuclear and hydro power, he said.

The United States needs to take the lead in emerging nuclear technology and can do that better and more safely than any country in the world, he said.

Energy Northwest, the Tri-City Development Council and NuScale Power testified in favor of the bills that would include nuclear in the principles that guide the state's energy strategy and promote siting small modular reactors or their manufacture in Washington state.

Charles Johnson, representing Oregon and Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility, countered that nuclear is not renewable.

The bills should not be considered until the Nuclear Regulatory Commission considers the safety of a NuScale design for a small modular reactor and issues of costs, nonproliferation and waste disposal are addressed, he said.

Watch video of the hearing.

Nuclear Hearing Draws Eastern Washington Support, Western Washington Opposition
Tri-City Herald, February 13, 2015

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