Mississippi Public Service Commission to Obama: Don’t send nuclear waste here

DESOTO COUNTY, Miss. — Anna Lannom says she’s against nuclear energy and for cleaner options like solar.

”It saves money, it saves waste, it saves having to have the problem,” she said.

What problem? The problem of tons and tons of nuclear waste stored at nuclear plants across the country.

About a year ago, the Mississippi Energy Institute floated the idea of taking in all of America’s nuclear waste in Southeast Mississippi.

It didn’t gain any popularity in Mississippi.

”The vast majority of Mississippians feel like it’s a crazy, hair-brained scheme,” said Mississippi Northern District Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley.

So when, after the energy secretary mentioned Mississippi last year and the assistant secretary mentioned the state again just a few weeks ago, Presley sent President Barack Obama a letter, saying the Public Service Commission had voted against a nuclear dump and people didn’t want it.

Presley wants everyone from the president to Congress to bureaucrats to know Mississippi doesn’t want the country’s nuclear trash.

Believe it or not, Mississippi has earned a prominent place in nuclear history. The Grand Gulf nuclear plant near Port Gibson has the single most powerful reactor in the country. From 1964 to 1966, Mississippi was home to two underground nuclear explosions, the only ones ever east of the Rocky Mountains.

What frustrates Presley so much is that Mississippi’s name keeps coming up, even though the state sits way down on the list of best sites and it’s clear people don’t want the waste.

”I don’t know who keeps mentioning Mississippi, but I wish these folks at the Energy Department would get our name out of their mouth,” he said.

People here says they want to keep nuclear waste out of Mississippi and off it’ roadways and rivers.

”Dispurse it to where it’s even. It shouldn’t just go to one state and treat that one state like it’s nothing, but up in Washington, they’re better,” said Lannom.

She says Mississippi doesn’t deserve to be the nation’s nuclear waste dump.

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