In line with our platform, which calls for an energy future that is “carbon-free and nuclear-free,” the Illinois Green Party opposes HB5589, which would repeal the moratorium on new nuclear reactor construction in Illinois.
HB5589 was introduced on January 28 by Rep. Mark L. Walker (D, 53rd District) of Arlington Heights. The bill in essence repeals a provision of the Public Utilities Act that currently prohibits construction of any new nuclear power reactor in Illinois UNTIL the Federal Government has opened and operates a high-level radioactive waste facility for permanent disposal of the deadly high-level radioactive wastes the reactors produce.
Illinois has the largest number of nuclear plants (11 operating/3 decommissioned) and the largest amount of waste (over 11,000 tons) in the country, with nuclear plants producing more than 50% of Illinois’ electric power. For this and other reasons, the Illinois Green Party has long opposed nuclear power as a substantive piece of Illinois’ clean energy future. In addition to risks of catastrophe, the plants create waste for which there is no proper federal storage facility (a federal project that is 25 years behind schedule) and the mining of nuclear material is incredibly environmentally destructive. Further, nuclear is so uneconomical in Illinois, that the industry has required over $3 BILLION in ratepayer funded bailouts from the State over the past 5 years, including Illinois’ recent Energy Bill, which included $340 million in subsidies for renewable energy and $700 million in subsidies for the nuclear industry.
The Illinois Green Party Platform calls for the following policies in regards to nuclear power:
- Bar the licensing of new nuclear power plants;
- Eliminating all subsidies and tax breaks for nuclear power (including guarantees for nuclear waste disposal, loan guarantees and subsidized insurance);
- Directing the private companies charged with managing existing nuclear power plants in Illinois to decommission them.
Instead of looking to nuclear, which is dangerous and uneconomical, we need to be looking to carbon-free and nuclear-free renewable solutions to address the climate crisis.
To join us in opposing HB5589, you can:
Contact your state Representative and Senator, urging them to oppose the Bill. If you do not know who your rep is, you can find out by clicking this link, and following the instructions. If your House Rep is on the Energy and Environment Committee, contact him/her asking them to oppose the Bill.
For more information contact the Illinois Green Party or Nuclear Energy Information Services
Illinois Green Party
Nuclear Energy Information Services