Three U.S. states want to expand the use of nuclear power

Lawmakers in three states have passed bills to expand the use of nuclear energy.

Virginia‘s governor signed a bill that will allow the state’s utilities to add 70 percent of nuclear and offshore wind preconstruction costs over the past six years to their expenses for 2013 and 2014, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI).

The bill will allow Dominion to charge about $300 million in research and development costs for a potential third reactor at its North Anna nuclear plant against its profits over the two fiscal years.

Washington lawmakers passed a budget revision to include funds for an eight-member Senate-House joint task force to study the costs and environmental benefits of nuclear in order to replace fossil-fueled electricity, NEI said.

The lifecycle costs will include storage and disposal of any nuclear wastes. The state currently has one operating commercial nuclear plant, the Columbia Generating Station.

The New Mexico House of Representatives passed a resolution for the state Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department to assess the feasibility of small modular reactors in the state. The assessment would be due in December, the article said. The resolution also requests the department to examine the legal and regulatory requirements to build and operate an SMR in the state and include a strategy to attract a nuclear supply chain.

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