Wisconsin is another step closer to lifting a long-standing ban on building new nuclear power plants in the state.
The state Assembly on Tuesday passed a bill that would end a moratorium enacted in the mid-1980s that prohibits building new reactors unless there’s a federal site to store the spent fuel and it can be shown it will not negatively impact rate payers. State Representative Kevin Petersen (R-Waupaca), the bill’s sponsor, says the measure “reopens the door to nuclear” so the state can analyze the technology in the same way it does other energy options.
Democrats warned the bill could open the state to new dangers and argued that nuclear is not the clean option its backers claim it is. State Representative Chris Taylor (D-Madison) says energy sources like wind and solar would be better investments. “We need to invest in the best energy options…and nuclear just is not our best energy option,” she said.
Wisconsin currently only has one operating nuclear power plant – the Point Beach facility in Two Rivers. Petersen says there are currently no plans he’s aware of to build any new reactors in the state.
The bill passed on a voice vote. It now heads to the state Senate.