Opinion

Editorial: Prairie Island Tribe lives in shadow of nuclear threat





"At 3:53 a.m., a worker discovers bleach is leaking from a 500-gallon bleach tank. (The bleach is important because it cleans the water used in the reactor’s vital cooling system.) At 4:01 a.m., Xcel Energy sends out an alert to emergency responders on the list.

So far, so good. Federal officials contact the Prairie Island Tribal Council president at 4:41 a.m. and Xcel follows up with a personal call at 5:45 a.m.

Not until 7:01 a.m., however, is a press release sent to media. That came too late.

During those three hours, tribal members especially had to wonder about the conflicting reports.

“We don’t know how all of this information was communicated, why the news media reported what they did,” the tribe said. “Unfortunately, living in the shadow of a nuclear power plant, our members are on pins and needles. Our biggest fear is that there will be some type of accident at the plant, and this type of event can cause people to assume the worst. We need to have clear and accurate information.”

Clear, accurately and timely."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Notify public sooner when plant alerts (The Hastings Star Gazette 1/12)