Wisconsin panel OKs bill lifting nuclear plant moratorium

Point Beach Nuclear Generating Station elp

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A legislative committee has approved a bill that would lift Wisconsin's moratorium on new nuclear power plants.

Under current law, state regulators can't approve a new nuclear power plant unless a federal storage facility for waste from nuclear plants nationwide exists and the plant wouldn't burden ratepayers. No centralized federal repository exists. Nuclear plants have been storing waste on-site.

Republican Rep. Kevin Peterson's bill would erase the storage facility and ratepayer language from state law, in effect clearing the way for new plants.

The Assembly's energy committee approved the bill unanimously without discussion during a hearing Wednesday. A spokeswoman for Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says the full chamber will take up the measure next month.

Wisconsin is currently home to only one operational nuclear plant, the Point Beach Nuclear Generating Station. Two more plants are closed.

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