Pueblo nuclear power plant proposal hearings against backdrop of Japanese explosions

Timing is everything. With gas prices going up, up, up due to the chaos in North Africa last month, suddenly a nuclear power plant started looking good to Pueblo County, where the commissioners are considering a proposal to make that county one of the spots in the country vying for a new nuke facility.

But just as citizens were gearing up to fight the proposal, along comes chaos in Japan -- including exploding nuclear power plants.

Yesterday, Representative Edward Markey sent a letter to President Barack Obama calling for a moratorium on new nuclear power plants until procedures for both building safe plants and dealing with nuclear emergencies can be clarified.

And images of the explosions in Japan will be the backdrop for two very heated hearings on the proposed Pueblo plant this week. The first, at 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 15, will feature testimony from the applicant and those favoring nuclear power. (The Pueblo Planning Commission has already signed off on the plan for an energy park in the southeastern part of the county.) The second hearing, starting at 5 p.m. March 16, is reserved for testimony from people opposing the the proposal.

Both will be at the Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center in Pueblo.

No matter what has happened in Japan by then, you can expect more than one meltdown in Pueblo.

More from our Calhoun: Wake-Up Call archive: "Colorado budget's $1.1 billion shortfall: Backseat Budgeter offers taste of task facing legislators."

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