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Safety exemptions sought for shuttered Kewaunee plant

Kewaunee Power Station (Photo from: https://www.dom.com/about/stations/nuclear/kewaunee/index.jsp)
Kewaunee Power Station (Photo from: https://www.dom.com/about/stations/nuclear/kewaunee/index.jsp)

KEWAUNEE, WI (WTAQ) - The company that shut down the Kewaunee Nuclear Power plant a year ago is asking for an exemption from federal safety rules for spent fuel rods.  

But five U.S. senators want the government to say no.  

Dominion Resources will put the spent fuel rods in storage in 2016 -- and federal rules require a 50 mile emergency protection zone around the storage site.  

Plant spokesman Mark Kanz tells the Green Bay Press-Gazette that the rule overstates the dangers. He said the spent fuel has been treated for 17 months, and it now shows just a limited impact on the plant's property and no impact off the site.  

Kanz says Dominion will provide on site security until the federal government provides a national repository for spent fuel. That's been on the drawing board for years in Nevada, and it's not clear if that project will ever be developed.  

In the meantime, four Democratic senators and an independent say Dominion's request should be denied -- along with similar requests for closed nuclear plants in Vermont, Florida, and California.

Senators Barbara Boxer, Kirsten Gillibrand, Patrick Leahy, Bernard Sanders, and Edward Markey all say the sites pose too many risks -- including a possible terrorist attack -- and they want the current rules to stay in force.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)

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