Nuclear Power Measure Advances In Frankfort

From Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh

A Kentucky state senator wants the commonwealth to join the 31 states that already have nuclear power plants operating within their borders.

Current Kentucky law prohibits construction of nuclear power plants in the state until there is a licensed and available location for disposal of used nuclear fuel. Paducah Senator Bob Leeper’s bill lifts the moratorium, if companies can prove they have a plan for storing nuclear waste.

“It’s a very complicated issue, but the bill has a very simple intent, and that is to allow Kentucky to begin the discussion of nuclear power and its ability to meet needs in Kentucky and outside Kentucky,” Leeper said.

Leeper’s bill, which already has Senate approval, passed the House Energy committee 12-6 and heads to the House floor.

Among opponents is Tom Fitzgerald of the Kentucky Resources Council. He warned the committee the Yucca Mountain federal nuclear storage facility in Nevada “will not open,” and even if it does, he says there’s already enough nuclear waste to fill it to capacity.