Illinois repeals moratorium on new nuclear projects

Sen. Sue Rezin called the three-decade-old ban ‘archaic.’
State Sen. Sue Rezin (R) explains fresh legislation she introduced, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023, in Springfield, Ill, lifting a moratorium on new nuclear reactors in Illinois. (AP Photo/John O’Connor)

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) signed legislation Friday that will allow for the first time in decades construction of new nuclear power plants.

The law lifts the nuclear ban the state has had in place since 1987 and permits building next-generation nuclear reactors, known as small modular reactors, beginning in 2026. SMRs have a power capacity of less than 300 megawatts, about one-third of the generating capacity of traditional nuclear power reactors.

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