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Iowans Mark First Anniversary of Fukushima, Oppose New Plants

Nuclear energy protest in Des Moines 3-10-12
On the first anniversary of the Fukushima disaster in Japan, Iowans rally at the statehouse to oppose plans for building a new nuclear power plant in Iowa. For a slideshow of photos from the rally, please click here. Photo: Jon Krieg / AFSC

A new nuclear power plant would be an environmental and economic disaster for Iowa according to a group of Iowans who rallied at the Statehouse in Des Moines on the first anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan.

The Senate Commerce Committee recently gave narrow approval to a bill that would likely lead to a new nuclear power plant in Iowa. Critics contend that the bill socializes the financial risk of such a plant while privatizing the profits. Environmental activists fear that nuclear power is anything but safe and point to the cataclysmic accidents at Chernobyl and Fukushima along with the unresolved problem of nuclear waste storage. They argue that the state, instead, should invest further in renewable energy and energy conservation.

Jane Magers of the Iowa Beyond Nuclear Coalition described the proposed legislation as "the most risky, terrible deal they could ever make in Iowa" (Des Moines Register, 3-11-12). WHO-TV filed this report of the rally.

The night before, people dressed as "Radioactive Zombies" marched to the Capitol to express similar concerns.