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Legislation In Nebraska Proposes Nuclear Reactor Feasibility Study

Nebraska would use pandemic relief funds to conduct a feasibility study on siting options for nuclear reactors under a bill considered Feb. 16 by a Nebraska Senate Committee.

The bill, LB1100, would appropriate $1 million of the American Rescue Plan Act funds allocated to Nebraska to the state Department of Economic Development for use by a political subdivision that owns or operates a nuclear plant in the state to conduct a feasibility study.

The study would assess siting options for new, advanced nuclear reactors throughout Nebraska and existing electric generation facilities based on key compatibility assets for such reactors, according to the Nebraska Legislature’s Unicameral Update.

Daniel Buman, director of nuclear oversight and strategic asset management at Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD), testified in support of the proposal on behalf of NPPD and the Nebraska Power Association, which represents all of Nebraska’s public power utilities.

Calling a siting study the “next logical step” for meeting the state’s energy needs, he said a new generation of nuclear facilities could provide reliable, baseload carbon-free energy for the state.

Cooper Nuclear Station currently provides approximately 65 percent of the electricity for Nebraska customers over a rolling two-year average, he said.

“Siting studies are needed to identify the best combination of features and locations to maximize the value [of new nuclear sites] for Nebraska,” Buman said.

No one testified in opposition to the bill, which was introduced by Nebraska Sen. Bruce Bostelman, and the committee took no immediate action on LB1100.