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Emotions may peak at hearing on ending state ban on building nuke power plants

Emotions are sure to run high Thursday when a state committee holds a hearing on a bill to end the state's 24-year-old construction ban on nuclear power plants.

Rep. Frank Boyle, D-Superior, says he would have been crazy to end the ban 10 years ago. But with global warming, things are different now.

Boyle says the time has come to build nuclear plants as an alternative to the greenhouse gases being spewed out by coal and oil-fired plants.

But a co-director of Nuke Watch, John LaForge of Luck, says those arguments are bogus. He says nuclear power remains dangerous and expensive and not cheap and green as its supporters claim.

LaForge says the costs of decommissioning a retired nuclear plant are tremendous and the cost of protecting the environment from nuclear waste never goes away.

The federal government considers the geography of the Wolf River and a stretch from Ashland to Hayward to be ideal for nuclear waste storage. But nothing of the kind has ever been proposed.