Dairyland Power to hold meeting on proposed small modular nuclear reactor while MN dawdles

On May 24, 2022, Dairyland Power will hold an informational luncheon at the Sheraton Hotel on John Nolen Drive in Madison to discuss the Dairyland small modular nuclear reactor project and the larger debate over nuclear power.

This luncheon is happening because Scott Walker and conservative lawmakers worked together to pass legislation legalizing the construction of new nuclear power plants in 2016.

Panelists will include Brent Ridge, who’s also the CEO of the cooperative; Jeffrey Keebler, chairman, president, and CEO of Madison Gas & Electric; and Paul Wilson, Grainger Professor of Nuclear Engineering and chair of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s department of engineering physics, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

While Dairyland Power is moo-ving forward with new nuclear power plants, liberal policymakers in Minnesota refuse to lift Minnesota’s unscientific ban on constructing new nuclear plants.

Ironically, it is typically the same politicians who are preventing the legalization of nuclear power plants in Minnesota who also sanctimoniously claim that climate change is an existential crisis. It is impossible to take their handwringing over emissions seriously when they won’t take practical steps to meet their own goals.

Governor Walz is especially guilty of promoting unserious energy policies. For example, the governor’s Climate Action Framework states that implementing an expensive California fuel standard, which would raise the cost of gasoline by 20 cents to $2 per gallon, was a priority action, but the framework never mentions legalizing new nuclear power plants.

The Star Tribune recently reported that rolling blackouts are an increasing concern in Minnesota, and there is a growing realization that shutting down coal plants and hoping to replace them with wind, solar, and batteries is a dangerous fantasy.

We need reliable power plants to meet our electricity needs. Nuclear power will be an essential part of a reliable, affordable energy portfolio, but Minnesota needs to lift its unscientific ban on building new power plants before we can follow Wisconsin’s lead into the energy future.