« Autism study findings point to further questions | Main | Red River could have higher crest in April »

State Senate votes to lift ban on nuclear power plants

The Minnesota Senate voted on Thursday to repeal a 15-year-old moratorium on nuclear power plants, the Star Tribune reported.

In a 42-24 vote, the Senate voted to end a ban passed in 1994 that prevented new nuclear power plants in Minnesota, the Pioneer Press reported. The House has yet to vote on the issue, but the House energy committee recently voted to uphold the ban.

Senator Steve Dille, R-Dassel, who proposed the bill, said that nuclear power must be considered because it does not produce carbon emissions, and is cheaper than some alternatives, the Star Tribune reported.

But Dille said he was surprised that the amendment to an energy bill actually passed, and told the Pioneer Press that the legislation remains a "long shot."

Yet no company is ready to act quickly if the ban is lifted. Xcel Energy Inc., operates the state only two nuclear plants in Monticello and Red Wing, and currently has no plans for more, the Pioneer Press reported.