State Senator Danny Carroll said a bill to lift the nuclear moratorium in Kentucky has the best chance of passing now that the GOP controls the legislature. The Paducah Republican has pre-filed a bill aiming to end the statewide ban on the building of new nuclear reactors.
He said the bill has had success in prior years passing the Senate, but then failing in the House. Democratic State Representative Gerald Watkins has sponsored similar legislation in the House, but only within a scope of the former-USEC site in Paducah. But that may change with the end of the Democrats’ control of the House.
"That’s the main reason, yes. I’m hopeful this will be the year and with the Republican support down in the House, we will at least get the bill heard and I’m optimistic that there will be enough support there to get it passed."
Carroll said permitting nuclear reactors allows Kentucky to diversify its energy portfolio should problems arise in the coal and natural gas industries. Carroll says one of the main criticisms of nuclear has been cost, but with the advent of small modular nuclear reactors, it’s proving to be a more feasible energy source. The 2017 regular session convenes January 3rd.