Wisconsin to end ban on NPP construction

20 February 2016

The state Senate in the US state of Wisconsin voted 23-9 on 16 February to repeal the state's 33-year moratorium on nuclear plant construction. The bill now moves to Governor Scott Walker, who is expected to sign it into law. Republican state representative Kevin Petersen said he introduced the legislation because the reason for the ban - the lack of a federal used fuel repository - is no longer relevant now that dry storage is in wide use at NPP sites. The US Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) said the bill had "strong bipartisan support". NEI senior vice-president of governmental affairs Alex Flint said: "The nuclear energy industry welcomes this common sense vote... This decision appropriately gives the state the option to consider nuclear energy along with all other electricity sources in the planning of its energy future."

Wisconsin has two pressurised water reactors in commercial operation at Point Beach NPP. The plant, owned and operated by NextEra Energy Resources. Point Beach 1 entered commercial operation in December 1970 followed by unit 2 in March 1973. Two NPPs are undergoing decommissioning in the state at Kewaunee and Lacrosse. The single unit Lacrosse shut down in April 1987 and the single unit Kewaunee in May 2013 after nearly 40 years of electricity generation. US utility Dominion Nuclear said Kewaunee's closure was "based purely on economics".

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