Prairie Island, Minn., June 18, 2003 — The Prairie Island Tribal Council and Xcel Energy have reached a tentative agreement potentially resolving the tribe’s legal authority to limit nuclear waste storage near its reservation.
The tribe could allow Xcel to operate its Prairie Island nuclear power plant at least until its reactor licenses expire in 10 years. Tribal members still must approve the agreement.
[Editor’s note: The first deadline for the vote passed without enough votes returned. The second vote is set for late May, past the closing date for this issue. However, sources state that the vote is pretty much a “lock” and is expected to pass.]
“In a perfect world, we would never again need to be concerned about nuclear power or nuclear waste,” said Audrey Bennett, president of the Prairie Island Tribal Council. “But, we need to be pragmatic, and this agreement helps make a bad situation better by providing us with the resources we need to improve our safety and build a more promising future for our young people.”
Specifically, the agreement would provide the tribe: $1 million per year as long as the plant operates, $450,000 every year for as long as nuclear waste is stored on Prairie Island (unless it’s for decommissioning purposes), $700,000 per year for 10 years to help with evacuation improvements and the acquisition and development of new land, and $100,000 per year for 10 years to help pay for a health study and emergency management services.
More information on the Rosebud Sioux wind turbine can be found online at http://www.nativeenergy.com/wind-farms.html.
More information on the Calpine/Fort Mojave partnership can be found online at http://www.allianceofcatribes.org/news030502.htm.