The Wisconsin Senate voted Feb. 16 to lift the state’s ban on new nuclear plants, according to newspaper reports.
Currently, state regulators can’t approve new nuclear plants unless a federal facility for storing waste exists and such a plant doesn’t burden ratepayers. No federal facility exists, however, at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain or elsewhere.
The bill would clear the storage facility and ratepayer clauses from Wisconsin law, paving the way for new plants. The Senate approved the bill Tuesday 23-9, sending it to Governor Scott Walker for signing.
The Wisconsin Assembly had passed its version of the bill lifting the moratorium “on advanced nuclear options,” AB 384, on Jan. 12. The version that passed in the Assembly was sponsored by Rep. Scott Allen. Allen had pitched new nuclear generation as a means to provide the state with more carbon-free electric generation.
The nuclear moratorium has been in place over 30 years, Allen said. Several states have looked at lifting nuclear bans in recent years.