Illinois has once again taken another step closer to paving the way for the development of new nuclear reactors within the state thanks to the passage of Illinois Senate Deputy Minority Leader Sue Rezin’s (R-Morris) new legislation, House Bill 2473, in the Senate on Wednesday, November 8.
“House Bill 2473 is a new piece of legislation designed to thoroughly and specifically address the concerns that the Governor stated in his veto message of my original bill,” said Sen. Rezin. “I would like to personally thank Senate President Harmon, his team, and other stakeholders that assisted throughout this negotiation process.”
House Bill 2473 lifts the ban on next generation nuclear reactors less than 300 MW beginning January 1, 2026. Additionally, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency Office of Homeland Security will be directed to establish rules for reactor decommissioning, environmental monitoring, and emergency preparedness by January 1, 2026. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency will also provide consultation.
Furthermore, House Bill 2473 authorizes the Governor to commission a brand-new study to research the State’s role in guiding the development of new nuclear technology and makes conforming statutory changes, including updating references to IEMA-OHS in preexisting Illinois law.
“The federal regulatory permitting process already takes six to eight years, so if we want to take advantage of the amazing advancements in new nuclear technology that have occurred over the past decade and prevent our state from falling behind the rest of the nation, we need to end this moratorium now,” continued Sen. Rezin. “Nuclear provides clean, reliable, and secure energy that we can count on as we strive to reach our clean energy goals in Illinois. With the passage of this legislation, we provide our state with the opportunity to truly embrace the next generation of nuclear technology and all of the benefits that it offers.”
House Bill 2473 passed out of the Senate with a 44-7 vote and is now on its way to the House of Representatives for further consideration. Since House Bill 2473 doesn’t take effect until January 1, 2026, it only requires a simple-majority vote in order to be sent to the Governor’s desk.