Wisconsin lifts nuclear moratorium

04 April 2016

The state of Wisconsin has lifted a moratorium that had prevented it from considering applications to build new nuclear power plants. Governor Scott Walker signed Assembly Bill 384 into law at a ceremony held at the Wisconsin Energy Institute on 1 April, lifting the moratorium imposed in 1983.

Governor Scott Walker signs the bill into law (Image: Matthew Wisniewski/Wisconsin Energy Institute)

The moratorium had prohibited state regulators from authorizing construction of any nuclear power plant until a federal repository should be available to receive all used fuel from nuclear power plants in the state.

"Nuclear energy is an affordable, environmentally safe, and sustainable alternative to fossil fuel," Walker said. "The legislation we're signing into law here today at the Wisconsin Energy Institute provides the Wisconsin Public Service Commission with increased flexibility for Wisconsin's energy portfolio with the potential addition of nuclear facilities," he added.

The bill, introduced in October 2015 by Senator Frank Lasee and Representative Kevin Petersen and passed by the senate and house earlier this year, also specifies that regulators must consider nuclear energy as an option when designing new and replacement energy projects "Advanced nuclear energy using a reactor design or amended reactor design approved after December 31, 2010, by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission" appears ahead of non-renewable combustible energy in the prioritized list of options.

Wisconsin has two operating 591 MWe pressurized water reactors at NextEra Energy's Point Beach plant. Both have been in operation since the early 1970s.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News