Nuclear Power Bill Signed Into Law

The new Public Act 103-584 applies to small modular reactors which, by scale design, cannot generate enough heat to breach containment. Advocates say that small modular reactor technology are one class of devices that point the way towards a future for Illinois’ energy supply, particularly as Illinois’ coal-fired and natural-gas-powered generating plants move through their operating life cycles.     

After extended discussion and debate, HB 2473 was approved in its final form by both houses of the General Assembly during the November 2023 veto session. The House vote on the final language was 98-8-0. Many of the concerns expressed by stakeholders were dealt with by new safety and security language that had been worked out through negotiations between key parties. For example, one facet of the new law will mandate that the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and Office of Homeland Security (IEMA) lead a safety and security study on how to implement small modular nuclear reactors in Illinois. The new Public Act was signed into law on Friday, December 8.