Bryant blasts nuclear waste disposal critics

Gov. Phil Bryant on Tuesday said people — particularly the media — are overreacting to and uninformed about proposals for nuclear waste storage in Mississippi.

“I am disappointed in the overreaction, and that’s what it is, overreaction,” Bryant said Tuesday. “It’s amazing to me that any discussion about nuclear power causes such a reaction. … What other topics are we not allowed to discuss? Alternative energy? Wind power or solar? … There’s been no discussion that I have heard about using a salt dome for permanent storage.”

Bryant also said he believes U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo’s emphatic “no nuclear storage” comments Monday were based on media overreaction, although Palazzo appeared to differ.

But even after a closed meeting Monday with the energy industry group pushing for nuclear waste storage and reprocessing, Bryant said, “I haven’t had a chance to look at all that,” when asked about a position paper put out by the group. The group, the Mississippi Energy Institute, includes Bryant’s top economic development officer as a board member. MEI’s report says creating a nuclear waste center in Mississippi would “serve as a platform for significant opportunities” for short-term, medium-term and long-term nuclear waste storage.

Clarion Ledger