MidAmerican Energy considers new nuclear power technology

MidAmerican Energy wants to explore the possibility of using new nuclear power technology.
Published: May. 20, 2022 at 8:37 AM CDT
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DES MOINES, Iowa (WOI) - MidAmerican Energy wants to explore the possibility of using new nuclear power technology.

MidAmerican Energy is seeking approval on a $3.9 billion renewable energy project in Iowa called “Wind PRIME.”

The goal is to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.

The company is looking to use money to explore new, green technologies, including energy storage, carbon capture, and small modular nuclear reactors.

So the company is requesting permission from the Iowa Utilities Board to explore these technologies as a baseload power source.

Supporters say its potential to help reduce climate change shouldn’t be ignored.

“This is generational,” Senior Nuclear Engineer Tim Cahill said. “It is sustainable. It is efficient, and it’s getting us away from what’s causing imminent global climate issues.”

However, some environmentalists aren’t convinced nuclear is the way to go.

The Sierra Club has been fighting against nuclear energy in Iowa since the 1970s. It is lobbying at the State House to prevent the nuclear initiative from moving forward.

“We say nuclear power is dirty, dangerous and expensive,” said Wally Taylor from the Iowa Chapter of the Sierra Club. “Dirty because of the uranium extraction. Dirty because of the spent fuel that was radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years, and we don’t know what to do with it.”

In its proposal, MidAmerican requested a decision from the Iowa Utilities Board by October.

It has never operated a nuclear facility, but it does own a 25 percent stake in the Quad Cities Generating Station in Illinois.

The station supplied just under four percent of MidAmerican’s generating capacity last year.

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