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What is the progress of nuclear power in Indiana?

The Indiana Michigan Power building
FILE PHOTO: Justin Hicks
/
IPB News
Indiana Michigan Power, one of the state's utilities, supplies some nuclear power from a plant across the Michigan border. However, there are no large-scale nuclear power plants in Indiana.

What is the progress of nuclear power in the state? One member of our audience was curious.

David Konisky is a professor at the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University. He said Indiana may not see large-scale nuclear power plants any time soon.

“It seems unlikely that utilities in this state are going to build very large nuclear power plants,” he said. “There's not a lot of that kind of stuff happening anywhere in the country.”

Konisky said one of the state’s utilities, Indiana-Michigan Power, does operate a nuclear power plant over the border in Michigan. He said some electricity from this power plant does come to Indiana.

However, Konisky said there are currently no large-scale nuclear power plants in Indiana. He said this is also likely due to reliance on other, more convenient forms of power.

“There are easier ways to add generation to the grid, whether it is natural gas plants or renewable power,” he said. “So there are more certain investments that are much quicker to add on to our electricity grid.”

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Konisky said it would also be time consuming to build a large-scale nuclear power plant.

“Constructing a new nuclear power plant, which might take 10 years or even longer to do,” he said. “And just generally across the country, we've seen very little or no new nuclear power in the United States over the past few decades.”

Konisky said there is currently one nuclear reactor, which is a smaller version of nuclear power plants, at Purdue University. He said this is used for research and education purposes.

He said there will likely be more of these smaller-scale nuclear power generators developed in the coming years – and this will likely be how nuclear power continues to evolve for the near future. A 2022 law paved the way for small modular reactors to be built in Indiana.

Violet is our daily news reporter. Contact her at vcomberwilen@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @ComberWilen.

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