Gov. Walker signs bill that lifts Wisconsin's ban on new nuclear plants

MADISON — Gov. Scott Walker has signed sign a bill lifting Wisconsin's ban on new nuclear plants.

State regulators currently can't approve a new nuclear plant unless a federal facility for storing waste exists and the plant doesn't burden ratepayers. No such federal facility exists.

The bill would erase the storage and ratepayer clauses from state law, clearing the way for new plants. The bill's Republican authors argue nuclear power is a renewable energy source and the ratepayer language duplicates other sections of state law that require regulators to determine that any new power plant won't burden customers.

Democrats say nuclear power is too dangerous, pointing to a meltdown at Japan's Fukushima plant in 2011.

Walker signed the bill Friday at the Wisconsin Energy Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.