2009 Nuclear Energy Legislation Summary

No fewer than 15 states have considered legislation in 2009 related to the permitting, building, and/ or financing of new nuclear energy generation facilities. In particular, at least:

  • Seven states (HI, IL, OK, MN, UT, VA, & WV) considered legislation that would repeal nuclear generation plant construction bans, develop study committees to determine the need for new nuclear plants, and/ or show general support for nuclear development. HI, IL, and MN still have legislation pending that would repeal the ban on new nuclear construction, while similar legislation failed in WV.
  • Five states (GA, MI, NY, VT, & NM) considered legislation addressing the costs associated with the construction of nuclear plants and the financial burden placed on both utilities and ratepayers. GA enacted legislation that allows utilities to recover the cost of financing associated with the construction of nuclear power plants from consumers.
  • Three states considered legislation related to the permitting of new nuclear facilities and/or the evaluations that are to occur prior to licensing facilities.

Please visit the NCSL Energy & Environment Legislation Tracking Database for additional information about any of the summarized legislation or the full text.

Comprehensive Table of Nuclear Energy Legislation Considered in 2009


State Bill Number and Author Status and Summary
Alaska      H 191, Johnson

To construct a nuclear fuel production facility, nuclear utilization or utilization facility, reprocessing facility, or nuclear waste disposal facility in the state, one must first obtain a permit.


S 31, Balfour

Allows a utility to recover from its customers the costs of financing associated with the construction of a nuclear generating plant; requires the Public Service Commission to exercise discretion in setting the level of assistance for senior and low income customers; provides for review by the commission as to whether the costs recovered are being properly recorded.


H 537, Say


S 1080, Hemmings

Repeals provision of state constitution that prohibits nuclear fission power plant construction or radioactive material to be disposed without the prior approval by a two-thirds vote in the house and senate.

Establishes a nuclear energy commission to study feasibility and advisability of developing nuclear energy generation facilities in Hawaii.

Illinois H 875, Osmond & 22 bipartisan authors
S 2162, Clayborne

Amends the Public Utilities Act. Deletes language that provides that no construction shall commence on any new nuclear power plant to be located within the State, and no certificate of public convenience and necessity or other authorization shall be issued by the Illinois Commerce Commission, until the Director of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency finds that certain conditions have been met.

Maryland S 1065, Frosh
H 1569, McIntosh
Concerns permits to own, operate, or maintain a hazardous material facility, and permits to own, operate, establish or maintain a low-level nuclear waste facility.
Michigan  SCR 8 & SR 28, Patterson Pending
Urges the Public Service Commission to establish a nuclear waste escrow account to receive funds from electric utility customers.
Minnesota  H 24 , S 25, H 33, S 96, S 126, H 141, S 355, S 356, H 368, S 438, S 1078, & H 1091; Peppin, Jungbauer, Anderson, Murphy, Dille, Hackbarth, Koch, Urdahl, Hann, & Mahoney

S 2129, Koch
H 2365, Anderson


H 2373, Brod

Abolishes moratorium on issuing certificate of need for new nuclear power plant.




Memorializes the President of the United States, the United States Secretary of Energy, and the Congress of the United States to review national policy on used nuclear fuel.

Proposes an amendment to the State Constitution, provides authority to the Public Utilities Commission, or its successor, to issue a certificate of need for the construction of a nuclear electric generating plant.

New Jersey

 S 76, Connors


A 296, Rumpf

Establishes a New Jersey Coordinating Council on the Decommissioning of Nuclear Power Generating Facilities.

Establishes a New Jersey Coordinating Council on the Decommissioning of Nuclear Power Generating Facilities.

New Mexico HM 114, Heaton 

Requests the New Mexico congressional delegation, congress, the president and the United States Secretary of Energy to reduce fees paid by nuclear utility ratepayers, requests the New Mexico congressional delegation, congress and the president to enact legislation establishing interim storage facilities for used commercial nuclear fuel and creating an independent panel to conduct an assessment of the nation's used fuel and defense waste management practices. 

New York  A 4201, Thiele



A 5199, Brodsky

Authorizes and directs the Department of Health to conduct an evaluation of any nuclear power plant operating in this state prior to the issuance of a license to extend the period of operation of such plant, establishes the nuclear power plant citizen advisory board.

Directs the Public Service Commission to establish a methodology to determine any costs paid by ratepayers of nuclear electric generating facilities for financial assurance for decommissioning, as required by NRC, in excess of the estimated costs thereof, such excess costs already collected are to be returned to ratepayers and are not to be charged in the future.

Oklahoma S 831, Bingman



H 1320, Reynolds

Creates the Nuclear Energy Incentive Act, authorizes electric utilities to apply to the Corporation Commission for determination of need to construct nuclear power plant.

Establishes procedure and notice for proceeding on application for power plant using nuclear material as fuel, makes the Corporation Commission the sole forum for such proceedings.

Utah SJR 16, Hinkins


H 440, Seegmiller

Expresses support for new nuclear power development in Utah.

Modifies the Public Service Commission's (PSC) powers to regulate a nuclear power corporation and the state energy policy.

Virginia SJR 100, Valentine 

Establishes a joint subcommittee to study nuclear power.

Vermont HJR 25, O’Donnell



S 108, Bartlett

Relates to public decorum at proceedings related to the current and future operations of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant.

Conditions the approval of the operation of a nuclear plant within the state on the requirement that the benefits of any revenue-sharing agreement between the owners of the plant and Vermont utilities are shared by all Vermont ratepayers.

West Virginia  SCR 58, Deem


S 240, McCabe

Requests Joint Committee on Government and Finance study repealing nuclear power plant construction ban.

Repeals article banning nuclear power plants' construction.