August 11, 2023
To the Honorable
The Illinois Senate,
Today, at the request
of the leadership team of the Speaker of the House and advocates, I will veto
Senate Bill 76 from the 103rd General Assembly. The bill removes the moratorium
on new construction of nuclear power plants to allow for the construction of
both advanced and traditional large-scale nuclear reactors in Illinois.
There appears to be real
potential for Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), which could, in the future, safely
provide power for large energy consuming businesses in areas where their energy
needs cannot currently be met. However, this bill provides no regulatory
protections for the health and safety of Illinois residents who would live and
work around these new reactors. My hope is that future legislation in Illinois regarding
SMRs would address this regulation gap, and that Illinois will adopt standards
that will have been reviewed by experts in the field along with the federal Nuclear
Regulatory Commission or another similar review panel.
Unfortunately, the vague
definitions in the bill, including the overly broad definition of advanced
reactors, will open the door to proliferation of large scale nuclear reactors that
are so costly to build that they will cause exorbitant ratepayer-funded
bailouts, such as the recent one totaling over $3 billion for Constellation Energy Corp., a part of Exelon’s
former power generation and competitive energy business.
appreciates the hard work of the sponsors in the House and Senate. I look
forward to working together to promote energy solutions that will not require
additional rate-payer funded bailouts and will not allow under-regulated energy
Therefore, pursuant to
Section 9(b) of Article IV of the Illinois Constitution of 1970, I hereby
return Senate Bill 76, entitled “UTILITY-MODULAR NUCLEAR REACT,” with the
foregoing objections, vetoed in its entirety.
Governor, State of