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Prairie Island tribe seeks action on nuclear waste via Star Tribune

The long debate over storing radioactive waste next to the Prairie Island nuclear power plant is boiling up again with an old question: Is the waste ever going away?

The 882-member Indian tribe whose southeastern Minnesota land adjoins the Prairie Island nuclear power plant is petitioning the federal government for a deeper look at the risks of on-site storage because outdoor casks holding spent fuel rods likely will remain in place for decades longer than ever intended.

“They’ve said it was temporary,” said Ron Johnson, secretary of the Prairie Island Indian Community. “This fuel was supposed to have been removed in the 1990s. We translate that to mean it’s probably more of a permanent storage facility.”

The federal government has failed for decades to establish a permanent radioactive waste site, forcing the nuclear industry to recognize the reality of long-term, on-site storage.

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