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Measures aimed at ‘laying solid foundation’ for nuclear energy industry advance in Kentucky Senate

The Kentucky State Capitol
Alix Mattingly / LPM
The Kentucky State Capitol

A pair of legislative proposals that aim to lay the groundwork for “Kentucky’s nuclear energy ecosystem” advanced out of a state Senate committee Wednesday.

Senate Bill 198 would create the Kentucky Nuclear Energy Development Authority.

That non-regulatory agency would be housed in the University of Kentucky’s Center for Applied Energy Research and work to educate the public on nuclear issues, develop economic opportunities, engage with regulators and promote collaboration on nuclear projects.

Sen. Danny Carroll, a Republican from Benton and a self-professed “nuclear geek,” sponsored the legislation.

“It's important for us to lay a solid foundation to make sure we don't get left behind,” Carroll said.

Carroll also sponsored a joint resolution that orders the state’s Public Service Commission to prepare for the process of regulating applications for the siting and construction of nuclear energy facilities.

While Kentucky currently generates no nuclear power, its neighbor states are pursuing multiple nuclear developments. The measures’ supporters say these bills can keep the state from falling behind.

Sen. Brandon Smith, a Republican from Hazard, chairs the committee.

“I think this is a step in the right direction. I think it's going to play a big role in the future of what's happening in energy.”

Both measures now go to the full Senate.