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Until recently, most of the debate over nuclear power in Colorado had to do with whether to mine and mill more uranium to be shipped elsewhere for conversion into fuel rods to power nuclear plants in other states and other countries around the world. The magnitude-9 earthquake and tsunami that crippled the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan on March 11 changed both the nature and the tenor of the discussion in Colorado – a state that produced some of the uranium ore used in developing the nation’s first nuclear weapons.
Not surprising in the midst of an ongoing nuclear power plant disaster in Japan, much of the heated opposition to a proposed reactor in Pueblo the last two nights has reportedly focused on safety and fallout in the event of a meltdown. The Pueblo Chieftain reported more than 500 people, most of them opponents, came out to a Pueblo County commissioners meeting Wednesday night to express their fears about possibly being home to Colorado’s first active nuclear reactor since Fort St. Vrain in Platteville, east of Longmont, was shut down in 1992 and later converted to a natural gas plant.