Colorado's Nuclear Renaissance: Pueblo Debates While the Western Slope Moves Forward

March 16 2011, 9:17 AM

What are hundreds, if not thousands, of local jobs worth? Depending on whom you ask in Pueblo County, nuclear risks may or may not factor into the equation. For the supporters of a proposed energy park—which includes a nuclear facility—promises of employment outweigh the potential for any type of meltdown (KKTV11 and Chieftain). Amidst rising concerns in Japan, dozens of proponents spoke up last night during the first of two meetings intended to gauge the community's positions on the plan, with opponents taking their turn tonight.

The precarious situation in the Asian nation has led top-ranking Democratic representatives like Colorado's Diana DeGette to urge the U.S. House Energy Committee to investigate the safety of U.S. plants (Politico). From Denver, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano assured her department is prepared for large-scale disasters (Denver Post). And those who support making southwestern Colorado the hub of the country's nuclear renaissance have not been deterred. Plans to open the nation's first uranium mine and mill since the Cold War are moving ahead (Denver Business Journal).

But former Governor Bill Ritter isn't convinced about any of the country's nuclear projects in light of Japan: "I think for what’s on the drawing board right now, it will be put on hold. I think what this will do is make that very difficult to go forward in the near future" (Denver Business Journal).