Pueblo: The Next Step Toward Our Nuclear Future?

February 24 2011, 11:00 AM

The name sounds innocent enough: Puebloans for Energizing Our Community. And the objective sounds relatively benign: The group wants to build an energy park about 25 miles east of Pueblo. "We need it for economic growth and jobs," says Donald Banner (via News5). But the plan proposes more than the creation of solar, wind, biomass, and geothermal energies: Nuclear energy is also on tap, which has sparked the ire of health-conscious locals and environmental groups who say the project should be killed. "Nuclear energy is not clean," says Sharyn Cunningham of the Sierra Club.

Such concern renews the specter of Colorado's past, in particular the southwest ghost town of Uravan. The seven-hour meeting before Pueblo County's planning commission on Tuesday cleared some of the initial regulatory hurdles for Banner's "clean energy park," but more meetings will follow, reports the Chieftain. The state is slowly moving back to its nuclear roots: A new uranium mill is slated for Naturita, and just this week American Energy Fields, Inc. issued a press release noting it has reached an understanding to acquire a massive portfolio of properties on the Colorado Plateau from American Nuclear Resources.