All four Republican candidates for governor are open to constructing new nuclear power plants in the state.
The only difference between the gubernatorial hopefuls on this issue is how strongly they support it. Bruce Rauner is willing to look into it as part of a broader energy strategy.
“If nuclear energy is part of that equation, it should be on the table as an option,” Rauner said.
State Sen. Bill Brady (R-Bloomington) takes that a step further.
“I don’t have to be open to it. We need to lift the ban,” Brady said. “I mean, this wish-washy type of politics just doesn’t cut it. We need leadership. Bold leadership.”
State Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale) pointed to his prior support of legislation that would have lifted the ban. State Treasurer Dan Rutherford also said he was open to allowing new plants to be constructed.
Illinois produces more nuclear energy than any other state, but has banned building additional plants since 1987.
The closest that ban came to ending was in 2010, when a moratorium-lifting bill passed in the Senate, but never got a vote in the House.