Michigan House Republicans
State representatives unveil bipartisan plan to spur nuclear energy generation in Michigan
RELEASE|March 20, 2024
Contact: Graham Filler

Legislators aim to make Michigan a national leader in nuclear energy field

A bipartisan effort is underway in the Michigan House of Representatives to encourage safe, clean and reliable nuclear energy generation in the state.

Reps. Graham Filler (R-Clinton County), Mike McFall (D-Hazel Park), Joey Andrews (D-St. Joseph), Samantha Steckloff (D-Farmington Hills), and Pauline Wendzel (R-Bainbridge Township) on Tuesday unveiled a comprehensive plan to spur the development of modern nuclear energy technology in Michigan.

“We’re working together across party lines to make Michigan a national leader in all things nuclear energy,” Filler said. “Our plan is designed to encourage investment in safe, clean, and reliable nuclear energy technology that is essential for our energy needs.”

The comprehensive plan, which would:

  • Pave the way for advanced nuclear reactors: Removes barriers for the next generation of nuclear power reactors by defining “advanced nuclear reactor,” also known as small modular reactors (SMRs), in state law and clarifying siting requirements.
  • Establish a nuclear and hydrogen education grant: Establishes a competitive grant program that would award funds to colleges and universities throughout Michigan that establish or expand educational programs that lead to a degree or credential supportive of the nuclear industry, the hydrogen industry, or both.
  • Encourage innovation in the nuclear energy field: House Bill 4753 (Wendzel) establishes a manufacturing tax credit aimed at incentivizing and supporting qualified research and development expenses that are related to the design, development, or improvement of advanced nuclear reactors.
  • Establish the fund for educational grants program: Initiates the creation of a fund to support the program that awards grants to select postsecondary schools in Michigan. These grants will assist in establishing or expanding educational programs that lead to a degree or credential supportive of the nuclear industry, the hydrogen industry, or both.
  • Establish a workforce attraction and retention scholarship program: Proposes a scholarship initiative providing direct grants or tax credits, or both, to graduates — both in-state and out-of-state — who commit to employment at a new or existing electricity generating facility in Michigan powered by nuclear or hydrogen energy for at least three years after obtaining their degree or credential.

“Introducing this bipartisan plan alongside my esteemed colleagues is a testament to Michigan’s commitment to clean energy leadership,” Andrews said. “House Bills 4753 and 5906-5909 reflect our dedication to fostering innovation and securing a skilled workforce for our state’s nuclear energy sector. Together, we’re paving the way for a brighter, more sustainable future for all Michiganders.”

With the new renewable energy standards recently established in Michigan, the representatives said nuclear energy generation will play a critical role in meeting those benchmarks.

“This isn’t just your parents’ nuclear power plant,” Steckloff said about how SMRs will transform the Michigan energy landscape. “This technology represents an incredibly important component in our clean energy future, and this is our chance to position Michigan as a leader in this space. I am proud and excited to work with my colleagues to put Michigan on that track.”

The successful use of advanced nuclear reactors could create thousands of additional megawatts of baseload generation, creating a more reliable power grid that would benefit people and businesses throughout the state. The legislation would also help attract a highly skilled workforce to Michigan. 

“Expansion of nuclear energy in Michigan will allow our state to be a leader in energy production while creating jobs and providing real energy solutions for our state,” McFall said. “Diversification of our energy production is vital to ensure all Michiganders receive reliable clean energy to their homes and businesses.”

The Palisades Nuclear Power Plant in west Michigan, taken offline in 2022, is set to reopen in 2025 after Holtec International announced plans to install two SMRs at the facility.

“Michigan is on the verge of a historic achievement as we successfully revive a dormant nuclear power plant,” Wendzel said. “Our plan will take us a step further, positioning Michigan as a national leader in the development of the next generation of nuclear technology.”

Todd Allen, Chair of the Department of Nuclear Engineering & Radiological Sciences at the University of Michigan, voiced his support for the bipartisan plan aimed at advancing nuclear energy in Michigan. As a leading expert in nuclear engineering, Allen emphasized the significance of the legislation in transitioning to modern, clean, and reliable energy systems.

“With the new legislation, Michigan is taking a crucial step towards embracing nuclear energy as an integral part of its energy portfolio,” said Professor Todd Allen. “This initiative recognizes the importance of nuclear energy and hydrogen in supporting the state’s growth and emphasizes the need for incentives to train and retain highly skilled personnel in these fields.”


Michigan House Republicans

© 2009 - 2024 Michigan House Republicans. All Rights Reserved.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.