Washington lawmakers are finally taking a closer look at nuclear power. Just this month, Senate Bill 5991, a bill to enact a task force to investigate nuclear power opportunities, was passed by the House of Representatives.
The task force of eight legislators will hold four meetings, two them in Richland. They want to "to study how the state can advance and support the generation of clean energy in the region through the use of nuclear power."
This is big step for Washington. Since the 1980s, after the Chernobyl accident, Western Washington has been overwhelmingly anti-Nuclear, and despite initiative from Eastern Washington, there is only one remaining nuclear power plant in the Pacific Northwest. But new nuclear technologies are on the rise, such as the Oregon-based NuScale, which recently received $226 million from the Department of Energy to build a small modular reactor.
This state task force may be a start to change, but there is still much opposition, such as Sen. Adam Kline from Seattle, "Generating more waste, or studying how to generate more waste ... is a waste of our time."
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PAUL PIERSON, Kennewick