Aug. 26, 2013:Japanese Trade Minister, right, in a protective gear inspects storage tanks at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in northeastern Japan.

Kyodo News, Associated Press

Letter of the Day (Sept. 15): Nuclear disasters

  • September 14, 2013 - 4:01 PM

The ongoing nuclear disaster in Japan should be a wake-up call to Minnesota (“Ex-US regulator: Fukushima cleanup complicated,” Sept. 13).

Accidents happen. Terrorist attacks happen. Floods happen. Computers malfunction. Concrete ages and deteriorates. Workers sometimes sabotage. What if an accident results in radiation pouring into the Mississippi River from the Monticello plant?

1)  Does Minnesota have an immediate and permanent alternative water supply for communities downriver from the plant, such as the Twin Cities, that can be implemented?

2)  Is there a plan to address the immediate, dramatic and lasting drop in state property values in the event of such a disaster?

3)  Would Minnesota be at financial risk of crippling lawsuits from states downstream whose water supplies and other essentials would be affected?

Our state’s nuclear plants should be responsibly decommissioned as soon as possible at Xcel’s expense. Admitting and correcting a decades-old error in judgment before a resulting catastrophe happens is not only appropriate regarding nuclear power, but may be essential to Minnesota’s survival.

ROBERT RAFN, Golden Valley

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