In 1994, the Minnesota legislature made what many environmentalists regard as a deal with the devil. NSP--now Xcel Energy--had come to the state requesting permission to store high-level radioactive waste from its Prairie Island nuclear power plant in 48 concrete casks on an island in the Mississippi River. After much heated debate, the legislature compromised by allowing NSP the use of 17 casks. There were, however, a few caveats: The utility would invest $500,000 per cask per year in a renewable energy fund; NSP would make plans to decommission the plant; and, most significantly, the plant would shut down if the waste was not moving out of... More >>>