State Closer to Ending Nuclear Ban

(Springfield, IL) — Illinois’ three-decade-old ban on the construction of new nuclear power plants is one step closer to being lifted.

On Thursday, the Illinois House approved a measure to end the ban on a vote of 84-22.  The Senate passed the bill back in March. It now heads to the governor’s desk.

Senate Bill 76 would delete the language that provides that no construction shall commence on any new nuclear power plant to be located within the state. Under the legislation, public utility and energy companies wouldn’t be forced to invest in nuclear energy but would merely be given the option to invest in new nuclear power construction projects. These projects could be either traditional nuclear reactors or new small modular reactors (SMRs.) SMRs are the latest and most advanced nuclear energy technology being developed which have the added benefit of being able to be placed in existing infrastructure such as factories or retired coal-fired power plants that are already connected to the electric grid.

Proponents say the move would create jobs, lower utility costs, and provide more reliable, clean energy.  

Prior to the vote, State Rep. Marty McLaughlin (R-Barrington Hills) said the state has for far too long ignored the only clean, green energy that will get us to where we need to be from a capacity perspective.  

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