The state Assembly is expected to vote today on a bill lifting Wisconsin’s 33-year-old moratorium on building nuclear power plants.
The legislation would remove a requirement that prohibits building nuclear power plants in the state unless there is a federal site available to store the waste and it can be shown the project would benefit ratepayers. The bill passed out of a committee last month on a 13-0 vote.
Advocates for nuclear power argue the restrictions are no longer needed because the technology has advanced to the point where much of spent fuel can be recycled. They also point out that adding nuclear to the state’s renewable energy options could help meet federal mandates to cut carbon emissions.
Critics contend that the moratorium should remain in place, since wind and solar offer cleaner and less dangerous forms of renewable energy.
The state currently has one functioning nuclear power plant – the Point Beach facility in Two Rivers. Any proposed new reactors would still need state and federal approval.