A bill to repeal the 1996 ban on the construction of nuclear power plants in West Virginia is now headed to the governor’s desk.
After Senators already had voted to do away with the ban, the house of Delegates on Monday passed the bill with a vote of 76 to 18.
Much of the discussion is focused on possibilities from small modular reactors, which can generate power at just a fraction of the size of a conventional nuclear power reactor.
Del. Brandon Steele, R-Raleigh, argued lifting the ban will allow the state to talk about it – to see if it fits into an “all-of-the-above” energy approach for the state.
“We want to make sure we don’t have any prohibitions that West Virginia is not in the game when those economic development opportunities come to our state,” Brian Dayton, vice president of policy and advocacy for the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce said. “As this technology continues to evolve, we want to make sure we haven’t blocked ourselves out of the game.”
Kentucky recently ended its ban, leaving 13 states, including West Virginia, with restrictions.