Utah legislature passes pro-nuclear energy resolution
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Utah legislature passes pro-nuclear energy resolution

The Utah House of Representatives passed the Concurrent Resolution in Support of Advanced Nuclear Reactor Technology on Wednesday.

The resolution “supports the procurement of energy from advanced nuclear facilities as well as the construction and operation of advanced nuclear facilities within the state of Utah.” The use of the advanced nuclear facilities are deemed to be necessary due to the the state expecting to double in population by 2050.

The resolution states that the state will need to address the challenges of climate change and clean air. Advanced nuclear technology is called “a flexible generation source that can support the integration of renewable resources in a carbon free manner.” The advanced nuclear technologies are deemed to have sufficient ramping abilities in order to meet the variability of renewable energy. Nuclear energy is recognized as a zero carbon emissions resource under the Utah Municipality Emissions Reduction Act.

The resolution also resolves for Utah to support the development of advanced nuclear technologies in other states “when it serves Utah’s interest.” Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) is seeking to build Nuscale’s Small Modular Reactors at Idaho National Labs in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Advocacy group HEAL Utah has criticized the project, saying that “the chances of the UAMPs project being completed on budget and on schedule are slim indeed” and the project will result in new radioactive waste.

The resolution passed the House with a vote of 62-11. The resolution previously passed the Senate with a vote of 27-0 on February 19. It now heads to the governor for final signature.

Several state governments have either implemented or progressed legislation for Zero Emission Credit programs in order to keep operating nuclear power plants open. This includes New YorkIllinoisConnecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. In November SCANA Corporation and South Carolina Electric & Gas Company settled a class action lawsuit over a cancelled nuclear power plant construction project for $2 billion.