MidAmerican To Hold Nuclear Study Meeting In Muscatine Co. - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

MidAmerican To Hold Nuclear Study Meeting In Muscatine Co.

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More nuclear power possibilities in the Quad Cities. MidAmerican Energy is eyeing two Iowa counties, including Muscatine County, and studying options for nuclear power. The company is talking with residents there this week.

MidAmerican invited 40 landowners to a private meeting Tuesday. The company did the same thing in Fremont county on the other side of the state last week. Representatives are talking with residents about activity they'll soon starting seeing in their area related to possible development of alternative energy sources.

Residents are already sharing their feelings about it. "What kind of dangers can it be for houses around there, the whole community," said one Muscatine homeowner.

"Cordova has one and they're only 50 miles away so pretty much same thing," said a county resident.

MidAmerican reps aren't saying exactly where in Muscatine County they're looking, tell KWQC that proximity to transportation routes and existing transmission lines are a factor. Over the next couple of months the company will be taking soil samples as part of a three-year nuclear feasibility study. Workers will take five soil borings at nearly 100 feet deep. Though it's very preliminary, residents do welcome the idea of job opportunities or other perks for the area.

"It would be a substantial employer, probably bring in thousands of construction jobs and would have a tremendous impact on the tax base," said Muscatine resident Andrew Fangman.

On the other hand there are a lot of questions of environmental impact and safety. Plus, with only certain landowners in the loop at this point they're not sure when answers will be available. "You see what happened in Japan last year. It's not impossible something goes wrong, that's why you'd really have to find out all the details and weigh it," added Fangman.

MidAmerican Energy representatives want to make it clear that no decision has been made on building a new nuclear plant yet. "The important thing to remember is, while this is a nuclear feasibility study, the results long term may also be used for other generating facilities like a natural gas plant," said spokeswoman Tina Potthoff.

In 2010 lawmakers passed a bill to allow MidAmerican to recover up to $15 million in study costs from Iowa electric customers. An overview of the feasibility study will be available in 2013.