Kentucky’s Senate passed legislation Wednesday lifting the state’s effective ban on nuclear power.
The new legislation changes legal requirements about how nuclear power plants in the state would dispose of waste, making it so operators only need permission from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to store radioactive waste.
The bill was approved in a 27-8 vote, and now goes the state’s House of Representatives for consideration.
“U.S. energy demand will rise 22 percent by the year 2040 even with modest economic growth,” Republican state Senator Danny Carroll, who sponsored the legislation, told The Times of Floyd County. “That means the United States will need many new power plants of all types to meet the increased demand and replace older facilities that are retired. To ensure a diverse portfolio, many of these new power plants will have to be nuclear.”
Carroll says that nuclear power plants provide good-paying jobs and have long-reaching economic impacts in areas where they are located.
America currently operates 99 nuclear reactors across 61 commercially operating nuclear power plants, according to the U.S. Energy Information Adminstration. The average plant employs between 400 and 700 high-skilled workers, has a payroll of about $40 million and contributes $470 million to the local economy, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute. A pair of reactors The Daily Caller New Foundation visited in April shells out $22.8 million in tax revenue each year.
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