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Reaction to Nuke Reactor Plans for Idaho's Snake River

February 9, 2007

More nuclear power may be coming to Idaho. Alternate Energy Holdings Inc., has announced its plans to purchase land along the Snake River near Bruneau, where it will build a nuclear plant and sell electricity on the open market. Local and state conservation groups are organizing to oppose the project.

Michele Boyd, with Public Citizen, a taxpayer watchdog group, says companies all over the country are rushing to plan for nuclear power because of the billions in federal subsidies available. But, she warns, the money isn't covering the cost.

"Even with all these subsidies, it's still not enough. The large utilities, they are going to their local governments and counties and saying, 'We need more money if you want us to build.'"

Boyd says the plant would use profuse amounts of water, which is likely to be a problem in Idaho. The company, however, says the land along the Snake is a prime site for such a project.

Jeremy Maxand, with the Snake River Alliance, admits the Bruneau area is ripe for energy development, and locals have been expecting electricity projects, just not nuclear.

"The area is rich with wind power, potential geothermal, and we all know how bright the sun shines down there. It is awash in renewable energy."

Information on the company's announcement is at

Deborah Smith/Jamie Folsom, Public News Service - ID