Kentucky Office of Energy Policy Finalizes Nuclear Development Working Group Report

Source: NASEO

On November 17, 2023, the Kentucky Office of Energy Policy submitted a report to the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission on nuclear development in Kentucky. The report was called for by Senate Joint Resolution 79, which facilitated the establishment of a state Nuclear Energy Development Working Group that would identify barriers to nuclear energy deployment in Kentucky and consult stakeholders to develop recommendations for the role of a permanent nuclear energy commission. Working Group meetings were held throughout 2023 and had participation from a variety of stakeholders including the State Energy Office, the Public Service Commission, the University of Kentucky, Tennessee Valley Authority, national labs, and state legislators. The barriers identified by the Working Group covered regulatory, policy, financial, social, environmental, workforce and education, safety, and security and weapons proliferation issues but none are considered insurmountable. The report also outlines the potential formation of the Kentucky Nuclear Energy Development Authority with goals of (1) growing public acceptance, (2) becoming a trusted voice, (3) developing capacity for nuclear economic development, (4) supporting early site permitting processes, (5) community engagement in existing energy and coal communities, (6) strengthening engagement with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, (7) becoming a valued stakeholder with environmental regulatory agencies, (8) understanding the needs of industrial customers, and (9) engaging on efforts to allow spent nuclear fuel re-processing or recycling. The report was made possible with State Energy Program funding and technical assistance from the Nuclear Innovation Alliance. The Working Group materials can be found here and the final report here.