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Senate votes to lift nuclear moratorium

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The state Senate has passed a bill that would lift Wisconsin’s ban on new nuclear plants.

Currently, state regulators can’t approve new nuclear plants unless a federal facility for storing waste exists and such a plant doesn’t burden ratepayers. No federal facility exists, however.

The Republican bill would erase the storage facility and ratepayer clauses from Wisconsin law, clearing the way for new plants. The GOP says nuclear power is a viable 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 warn nuclear power is too dangerous, pointing to a meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima plant in 2011.

The Senate approved the bill Tuesday 23-9, sending it to Gov. Scott Walker for signing.

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