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Watchdogs: Japan Earthquake Nuclear Leaks Should Shake Idaho Awake

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 By Deborah Smith/Jamie Folsom, Public News Service - ID, Contact
July 18, 2007

An earthquake in Japan this week is seen as a reason to shake Idaho awake - when it comes to the risks associated with plans to build the largest commercial nuclear reactor in the country along the Snake River in Southern Idaho. Radioactivity leaked from a Japanese nuclear plant into the sea. Nuke watchdog Ester Ceja is with the Snake River Alliance spoke on the larger impact.

“What happened in Japan is a classic example of the dangers of constructing nuclear reactors near water sources. How can make sure there are safeguards to protect our community?”

The proposed Idaho nuclear actor location is not near any earthquake fault lines, but there are other risks. Ceja notes that it's too close to military training ranges. A Virginia-based company is planning the Idaho reactor. Details about safety and effects on the environment haven't been made public yet.

When a private company planned to build a coal-fired power plant in Idaho, the legislature objected because of area pollution concerns. Ceja believes this private nuclear plant should also get legislative attention.

“North of the Owyhee bombing range and south of Mountain Home Air Force Base is not the best place for a nuclear reactor.”

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