OTTAWA, Ill. – State Rep. Lance Yednock, D-Ottawa, delivered a bipartisan package that will lead to low-cost energy production in Illinois and create jobs by clearing the way for new, small nuclear energy projects.
“Nuclear energy is one of the most efficient ways to power our cities, towns and villages. As we continue to shift to green energy, it is clear that we must use nuclear reactors in some capacity,” said Yednock. “While I welcome and applaud the pivot toward green energy sources – such as wind and solar, – safe, efficient, and environmentally conscious nuclear policy also needs to be part of the discussion.”
Yednock brought energy producers, labor groups, and environmental advocates together to develop House Bill 2473, a compromise proposal that paves the way for certain small-scale nuclear energy projects. For 36 years, Illinois has prohibited all new reactor construction, despite advances in safety and efficiency. The new advanced, small-modular nuclear reactors permitted under Yednock’s bill are typically small enough to fit on an 18-wheeler and could be used to provide power to high-use sites such as manufacturing plants and other energy-intensive industries. These advanced reactors will also be able to use nuclear waste to produce even more energy.
The measure passed through both legislative chambers with bipartisan support.
“Nuclear energy is critical to building the energy infrastructure we need to move into a clean energy future. These nuclear reactors will alleviate stress on our evolving systems and reduce our susceptibility to blackouts and brownouts,” said Yednock. “I support the transition to clean energy in Illinois, but we must do so in a manner that is reliable and uncompromising in the transmission of power to the residents, businesses and municipalities that rely on it every day.”