Iowa utility still weighing future nuclear plant

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 10, 2013 at 4:51 pm •  Published: February 10, 2013

"Coal's days are numbered here in Iowa," Pam Mackey Taylor, Iowa chapter energy chairwoman of the Sierra Club, said.

MidAmerican said it will stop burning coal in two boilers at Council Bluffs and two boilers in Sergeant Bluffs by April 2016, and is evaluating whether to convert the plants to natural gas before that 2016 deadline. The company said it also will convert three coal-fired boilers at its Bettendorf facility to natural gas.

MidAmerican unsuccessfully lobbied the Iowa Legislature over the past two years to pass a bill that would encourage development of nuclear power. Consumer advocacy groups and environmental risks opposed the idea.

Iowa has just one nuclear power plant, which went online in 1975.

MidAmerican is Iowa's largest utility. It serves 732,000 electric customers and 714,000 natural gas customers in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota.

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