Media's raison d'etre—especially television—is to document events; answering the whowhatwherewhywhen of something happening, somewhere. It's remarkable, then, to see press coverage of a nonevent. From the Minneapolis-based Star Tribune,
As Xcel Energy makes plans to begin storing spent nuclear fuel in dry casks at its nuclear power plant in Monticello next month and pursues hopes of launching a $100 million expansion of the generating capacity at the 38-year-old facility next year, one element is missing:Perhaps we're seeing the first signs of the spent fuel issue becoming ordinary?
Xcel's plans have not triggered the superheated attacks from critics that usually accompany attempts to increase nuclear power production. There's been none of the outcry that occurred in the early 1990s, when the power company sought to increase radioactive waste storage at its Prairie Island nuclear facility.
One reason, some observers say, is that concerns about global warming, high energy prices and increasing demand for electricity are producing something of a global nuclear renaissance. As a result, even some lifelong environmentalists are starting to wonder if being anti-nuclear is such a clear-cut choice anymore.