New Nuclear Power Plant Clears Hurdle

A new nuclear power plant proposed near the Idaho-Oregon border cleared its first hurdle Monday. But, groundbreaking is still years away because many more local and federal approvals are needed.

Payette County Commissioners voted unanimously to change the county's comp plan to allow a nuclear plant. It would rise on rural ranch land near the Payette River. A small Idaho company called Alternate Energy Holdings is behind the proposed $10 billion commercial power plant. Next, the nuclear developers need a local zoning change and then face years of scrutiny from federal regulators. Still, company spokesman Dan Hamilton is encouraged.

Dan Hamilton: “This is very reflective of the kind of support and so forth we have received in Payette County right from the very get go.”

The anti-nuclear group Snake River Alliance claims the developer will have “an extraordinarily difficult job” convincing the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that the company is credible and can get financing. The earliest the new nuclear plant could go online would be 2017.

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