New nuclear power option touched on during meeting with Kentucky lawmakers

Republished from WEKU.

The future ways to operate sizeable industrial plants in Kentucky will continue to be a timely and debated topic. And sometimes that goes beyond the traditional forms of coal, hydro, solar, wind, and nuclear power.

During an interim legislative committee meeting last week, Cathy Waddell of Nucor Steel Gallatin talked about investing in a nuclear fusion company to develop a fusion plant at one of the company sites.

“While nuclear fusion maybe a moonshot project, we believe it’s worth the effort, given how it would revolutionize power generation if it is successful,” said Waddell.

Waddell went on to say new nuclear could provide manufacturers like Nucor with the amount of clean low-cost base generation that would sustain the company for decades.

Tom Fitzgerald has more than 40 years of experience in environmental law. He also attended that legislative interim committee meeting last week. Afterward, Fitzgerald said state utility regulatory oversight is working as it relates to energy reliability in the Commonwealth.

“I am confident that as far as Kentucky’s reliability, what we have control over, the Public Service Commission is doing its job. When it comes to the interstate federal reliability issues, there are definitely some challenges,” said Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald said a lot of those issues are not controllable as a state. As it relates to the future of coal-fired power plants in the Commonwealth, the longtime Frankfort observer noted coal-fired generation is not the least expensive for many utilities in many situations. And so, Fitzgerald added running plants that way can cost ratepayers more.

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Originally published by WEKU.

Republished with permission.

https://www.weku.org/the-commonwealth/2024-06-12/new-nuclear-power-option-touched-on-during-meeting-with-kentucky-lawmakers