Kirk Tours Zion Nuclear Power Plant - NBC Chicago
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Kirk Tours Zion Nuclear Power Plant



    Kirk Tours Zion Nuclear Power Plant

    Sen. Mark Kirk on Saturday was one of several lawmakers who toured the shuttered nuclear power plant in Zion.

    The plant, about 40 miles north of Chicago, was closed in 1998, but still holds about 1,100 tons of radioactive waste.

    That's too close to Lake Michigan, as far as Kirk is concerned.

    "I'm so passionately in favor of building the Yucca Mountain facility to take nuclear fuel away from the largest supply of drinking water in North America," he said.

    He and state Sen. Suzi Schmidt, as well as U.S. Reps. Robert Dold and Joe Walsh, said the recent disaster at the Fukushima plant in Japan should serve as a wake-up call for the state.

    Officials from the nuclear industry assert that its spent fuel storage pools are all safe and protected from both natural disasters and terrorist attacks, but many of its leaders agree that longer-term solutions need to be found.