Springfield, IL – In a historic move, the Illinois Legislature has passed House Bill 2473, lifting a 36-year moratorium on new nuclear power facility construction, signaling a major shift in the state’s approach to energy generation and job creation in the clean energy sector.
The bill specifically opens the way for small modular reactors (SMRs), aligning with Illinois’ commitment to carbon-free energy and reliability of the energy grid while sustaining good-paying union jobs.
“When the moratorium is lifted, the state will be able to explore new nuclear technology, which will create new jobs,” said State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex). “This is another testament to our state’s goal to be a leader in energy production.” State Senator Joyce heralded the measure as a step towards Illinois becoming a clean energy leader.
“House Bill 2473 is a new piece of legislation designed to thoroughly and specifically address the concerns that the Governor stated in his veto message of my original bill,” said Illinois Senate Deputy Minority Leader Sue Rezin’s (R-Morris). “I would like to personally thank Senate President Harmon, his team, and other stakeholders that assisted throughout this negotiation process.”
The decision comes as Illinois currently relies on eleven commercial nuclear power reactors for about half of its electricity, with notable facilities like the Clinton Power Station and Dresden Generating Station providing substantial output. House Bill 2473 lifts the ban on next generation nuclear reactors less than 300 MW beginning January 1, 2026.
The legislation now awaits the governor’s signature to become law.