Senator withdraws his bill to promote nuclear power via IndyStar

Nuclear power plants won’t be coming to Indiana anytime soon, after all.

A key state senator has pulled his bill that would have provided financial incentives to utilities to build nuclear plants.

Sen. James Merritt, R-Indianapolis, confirmed Tuesday that he won’t have hearings on his bill this session and said construction of a nuclear plant is “probably more than a decade away.”

The move amounts to a sudden reversal of Merritt’s push for nuclear energy in Indiana. Less than two weeks ago, Merritt introduced the bill. Last week, the bill was sent to the Senate Utilities Committee, which Merritt chairs.

Senate Bill 302 would have allowed utilities to build a nuclear plant or a small modular reactor and pass along the engineering and construction costs to customers years before the plant goes into operation.

Indiana is one of the few Midwest states with no nuclear power plants. It has long relied on abundant coal reserves for energy.

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