Bill lifting restrictions on nuclear construction advances in West Virginia

January 21, 2022, 12:00PMNuclear News

A group of West Virginia state senators—four Republicans and four Democrats—is attempting to overturn the state’s effective ban on nuclear power plant construction.

On Wednesday, their bill, S.B. 4, was approved by the Senate Economic Development Committee. The lead sponsor for the legislation is Sen. Tom Takubo (R., Dist. 17).

Introduced on January 12, S.B. 4 would rescind article 27A of the West Virginia Code, which bans “the construction of any nuclear power plant, nuclear factory, or nuclear electric power generating plant until such time as the proponents of any such facility can adequately demonstrate that a functional and effective national facility, which safely, successfully, and permanently disposes of radioactive wastes, has been developed.” The code also requires nuclear facility construction to be economically feasible for West Virginia ratepayers and in compliance with all applicable environmental protection laws, rules, and requirements.

Words from the sponsor: Sen. Mike Woelfel, an S. B. 4 cosponsor, is quoted in a Charleston Gazette-Mail report on the bill’s advancement. “It’s a great idea,” he said. “It’s long overdue. It makes West Virginia an option along with other states for folks who want to have this as a potential energy source for their manufacturing.”

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