A Policy Renaissance: Emerging Trends in State Nuclear Policy

by Sarah Hunt

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A “nuclear renaissance” in state policy is underway. In 2007, states considered a total of 27 bills pertaining in some way to nuclear energy. By 2011, this number leaped to 204. Since then, it has consistently held steady around 200 bills each year.2 The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) holds general regulatory primacy over nuclear reactors, but it shares authority with the states when it comes to nuclear power plants.3 State policy, therefore, has significant effects on nuclear energy resources in the United States.4 To fully understand the state role in nuclear policymaking
requires an exploration of underlying causes of this “policy renaissance.”

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