NUCLEAR POWER: MidAmerican Halts Plans

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MidAmerican Energy is putting plans to develop nuclear energy in Iowa on hold.

The state's largest utility just completed a two-year nuclear feasibility study.  The company scouted out sites for a power plant in Fremont and Muscatine counties.  It also looked at the safety of the latest technology and the economic impact of building a nuclear plant.

“Many of the proponents saw the economic side to the study and definitely knew that there could be some major dollars brought into a local community should anything proceed forward,” says Tina Potthoff with MidAmerican Energy.

Tuesday, the utility announced that it isn't the right environment to move forward.

“There are environmental regulations that are still uncertain at this time,” says Potthoff, “The second thing is there really hasn't been approval of the technology that we're looking at which is small modular reactor technology.”

Iowa Environmental Council Executive Director Ralph Rosenberg says MidAmerican made a “wise decision”.

“People were concerned about it  Concerned about the way it was paid and concerned about the overall dangers to the environment,” he says.

Rosenberg says now Iowans can focus their attention on clean energy sources now and in the future.  He believes the company is on the right path with wind energy.

MidAmerican collected more than $14-million from customers to pay for the study.  The company will refund nearly nine million dollars of that starting in August.