Progress Towards Nuclear Energy

(Click on the timeline and use your mouse to adjust the scale and access link sources.)

Welcome! We are pleased to share various resources which we are using to track the progress of growth of nuclear energy usage globally.  We endeavor to add notable events both in the industry and within the climate community to the above timeline. Additionally, we present two tables:  1. US States’ Movement towards Nuclear, which activity falls primarily into five buckets ranging from repealing older nuclear energy bans to passage of laws to allow SMRs (see color coding); and    2. International Movement towards Nuclear, which tracks activity by other countries to restart reactors, expand existing capacity or add new nuclear capacity.

1.  U.S. States’ Movement towards Nuclear

We are pleased to provide this state-by-state listing of the legislation being proposed and passed across five main categories since 2016. These include: Zero-Emission Credit programs to protect viability of existing plants; Repeals of nuclear bans on construction of new nuclear; Funding of Feasibility Studies for deployment of new nuclear; and support for deployment of Advanced nuclear and SMRs or support for Fusion nuclear. Click on the state name to toggle open the information. Once open, you can scan the entries by the following categories:

 

Advanced
Nuclear/
SMR




Fusion

Support

 

Zero-Carbon
Programs

 

Repeal
of
Nuclear
Ban




Feasibility

Study

  • S.B. 846 (Passed August 31, 2022)

    Legislation proposed by Governor Newsom and sponsored by Jordan Cunningham to save Diablo Canyon from premature closure. This legislation was passed almost unanimously by both the predominantly Democratic California Assemby and the predominantly Democratic Senate (Votes in favor: 98; votes opposed: 4). It specifically enables PG&E to receive up to $1.4 billion as a loan from the state to support continuation of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, including its reapplication with the NRC. The timing allows the plant to apply for the DOE’s Civil Nuclear Credit program. This legislation would keep Diablo’s Unit 1 open until October 31, 2029, and Unit 2 until October 31, 2030, with annual reports on the PUC’s resource plans. After five years, the state would assess whether the units should stay open for another five years, with a final expiration set for October 31, 2035.

  • CT HB 10: (Enacted May 2022)

    Creates an exception to the state’s existing nuclear power facility to expand into advanced nuclear technologies like small modular reactors.  (The Bill.)

  • CT H 5200: (Enacted May 2022)

    Establishes a task force to study hydrogen power, including but not limited to an examination of nuclear as a source of clean hydrogen. Includes provision that one member will be a representative from an eligible nuclear power generating facility.

  • HB 1501: (Enacted October 2017)

    Allows for the Millstone nuclear power plant to participate in the state’s zero–carbon procurement program. (The Bill.)

  • ID HCR 31: (Enacted February 2020)

    Relates to stating findings of the Legislature, recognizes nuclear power as a significant emissions-free energy resource, recognizes the significant contributions of the Idaho National Laboratory.

  • EO 2018-07:

    Supports the continued promotion, advancement and deployment of advanced reactor technologies, including small modular reactors, in Idaho.

  • SB 18: (Enacted Sept. 2021)

    Establishes a zero–emission credit program for the Byron, Dresden, and Braidwood nuclear facilities within the state. (Similar to SB 2814, which established a zero-emission credit program for the Clinton and Quad Cities nuclear facilities.)

  • IL H 2940: (Enacted July 2019)

    Directs the Emergency Management Agency to study specified items in the formulation of a state nuclear power policy, including the feasibility of continued use of nuclear power, effects of the use of nuclear power on public health and safety, minimum acceptable standards for the location of any future plants, and regulations for the reporting of radioactive emissions from such plants.

  • IN S 381: (Enacted March 2022)

    Establishes a program for the state to effectively manage sources of radiation.

  • IN S 271: (Enacted March 2022)

    Defines “small modular nuclear reactor” and directs for the adoption of rules allowing for SMR construction, purchase, or lease.

  • HR 54: (Adopted March 2013)

    Urges a study on small modular reactors that includes economic issues such as cost, economic impact, potential job creation, cost savings for electricity consumers; and technical, design, and regulatory questions.

  • HB 273: (Adopted May 2021)

    Removes a provision in the Montana Major Facility Siting Act which required the public to approve any proposed nuclear energy facilities through a statewide election (Enacted May 2021) and SJR 3: Requires a study of the feasibility of advanced nuclear generation, including an evaluation of the economic feasibility of replacing closing coal facilities with advanced nuclear reactors.

  • LB 84: (Enacted May 2021)

    Adds nuclear energy to the qualifying renewable energy sources eligible for a business tax incentive.

  • NH 543: (Enacted June 2022)

    Establishes a commission to study and consider legislation or other actions relative to the possibility of implementing next generation nuclear reactor technology in New Hampshire, provides for membership of the commission.

  • NH HR 16: (Pending Jan 2022)

    Calls for the federal government to construct a nuclear waste repository to permanently store the nation’s nuclear waste.

  • NH LSR 2317: (Pending Sept. 2021)

    Calls for the federal government to complete the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository.

  • NH LSR 728: (Filed November 2020)

    Establishes a commission to study nuclear power and nuclear reactor technology in New Hampshire.

  • NJ S 219: (Pending June 2022)

    Provides that fusion energy and fusion technology companies are eligible to receive benefits under certain economic incentive programs.

  • NJ A 4064: (Pending May 2022)

    Directs Board of Public Utilities to adopt rules and regulations concerning small modular nuclear reactors, authorizes Economic Development Authority to incentivize construction and operation of such reactors.

  • NJ SCR 90: (Pending March 2022)

    Urges the President of the United States and the United States Congress to annually financially compensate every local unit of government in the United States where there is a decommissioned nuclear power plant in which spent nuclear fuel is stored.

  • NJ A 3079: (Pending February 2022)

    Requires, by a specified energy year, all electric power sold in state by each electric power supplier and basic generation service provider to be from zero carbon sources.

  • NJ S 220: (Pending January 2022)

    Concerns the Fusion Technology Industry Promotion Act, establishes a program to promote fusion technology industry and attract fusion technology businesses.

  • NJ S 217: (Pending January 2022)

    Adds fusion to types of Class I renewable energies as defined for purposes of the Electric Discount and Energy Competition Act.

  • ER20080557-9 NJ PUC Order: (Ordered April 2021)

    Renews the zero-emission credit program for Hope Creek and Salem Nuclear Power Plants until 2024.

  • NJ SR 14: (Enacted June 2020)

    Urges Congress and President to increase funding for fusion energy research.

  • NJ S 2313: (Enacted May 2018)

    Establishes a zero emission certificate program for nuclear power plants.

  • NY A 5036: (Pending February 2021)

    Adjusts the zero emissions credit to account for the proportional benefits received within each energy zone attributed to the continued operation of nuclear facilities.

  • NY PSC Order: (Ordered August 2016)

    Establishes a clean energy program and allows for the creation of zero–emission credit program to preserve certain existing zero emission nuclear generation in the state.

  • OH H 434: (Pending February 2022)

    Enacts the Advanced Nuclear Technology Helping Energize Mankind (ANTHEM) Act by establishing the Ohio Nuclear Development Authority.

  • Ohio’s Legislature launched a Nuclear Energy Caucus (2019)

  • OH H 6: (Enacted July 2019)

    Facilitates and continues the development, production and use of electricity from nuclear energy resources in the state.

  • PA S 979: (Pending January 2022)

    Relates to alternative energy, provides for Zero Emissions Certificate Program and for decarbonization, establishes the Zero Emissions Certificate Fund.

  • Pennsylvania legislators launched a bicameral, bipartisan Nuclear Energy Caucus and release the “Bicameral Nuclear Energy Caucus Report” (2017-2018 Session)

  • SB 227/576: (Enacted October 2017)

    Urges the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to implement policies to ensure fuel secure generation resources like nuclear energy receive proper compensation for the positive attributes they provide nation’s electric system.

  • Vistra Moves to Extend Operation of 2,400-Megawatt Comanche Peak Nuclear Plant

    Vistra announced that it is seeking to extend the operation of Luminant’s Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant through 2053, an additional 20 years beyond its original licenses. The company has officially submitted its application for license renewal with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. (Reported on Oct. 3, 2022)

  • WA S 5244:

    Encourages the production of advanced nuclear reactors, small modular reactors, and components through the invest in Washington act.
  • WV S 4: (Enacted February 2022)

    Repeals the article banning the construction of nuclear power plants.

  • WV HR 14:

    Relates to the resolution on West Virginia’s Energy Future. Includes nuclear power.

  • WV SR 35:

    Recognizes clean energy’s importance to the state’s energy future.

  • Act 344: (Enacted April 2016)

    Repeals moratorium on the construction of new nuclear facilities within the state.

  • WY H 131: (Enacted March 2022)

    Relates to environmental quality, amends and repeals requirements and conditions for legislative approval of the siting of high-level radioactive waste storage facilities as specified, amends provisions for small modular nuclear reactors to apply to advanced nuclear reactors, specifies duties and requirements for advanced nuclear reactors.

  • WY D 174: (Pending October 2021)

    Amends provisions for small modular reactors to apply to advanced nuclear reactors, defines terms, amends definitions related to cost recovery and exemptions for specified electric generation facilities, makes conforming amendments, repeals nuclear reactor rulemaking requirements as specified, requires rulemaking, provides for an effective date.

  • WY D 243: (Pending October 2021)

    Relates to taxation and revenue, repeals the tax upon the production of electricity from nuclear reactors and associated provisions, provides for an effective date.

  • HB 74: (Enacted March 2020)

    Authorizes permits for small modular reactors (SMR) to replace a coal or natural gas–generating units so long as the SMR’s rated capacity is not greater than 300 megawatts.

2.  International Movement towards Nuclear

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The U.S. is the world’s top producer of nuclear power, with 92GWs of generating capacity, comprising more than 30% of the total global nuclear energy production, and representing 20% of U.S. total electricity consumption.  France is the number two producer, with over 61GW of capacity, which generates almost 70% of its electricity demand, some of which is exported to other countries. China has 51GW, enough to cover about 5% of its electricity but it is rapidly building new capacity, with 18 additional reactors under construction and many more in planning.  Meanwhile, Japan (32GW), Russia (30GW), South Korea (25GW), Canada (14GW), Ukraine (13GW), the UK (9GW) and Spain (7GW) make up the top ten nuclear countries, as of 2021.  To learn more about the status of nuclear power usage internationally, please see the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) Country Nuclear Power Profiles.  Click on the image to the right, to enlarge the IAEA’s 2021 Nuclear Power Status infographic.

The combination of pressure to decarbonize and growing uncertainty of international supplies as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, has many more countries exploring nuclear energy. We are tracking news about efforts to increase nuclear energy within other countries, both the thirty countries which are already using nuclear to some degree and another thirty “newcomer” countries which are actively working to adopt nuclear energy. We present this news within a groupable, sortable, searchable airtable. You may change the grouping, filtering or sorting settings of the table by clicking the icons at the top. Use the scroll bars to see columns to the right and additional rows below.

Note:  To share an article with information that adds to our data on the nuclear activity of a US state or another country, please use this input form.  Thanks very much!