Opposed by The Climate Center

AB 65 (Mathis) Small nuclear reactors

Existing law prohibits the California Energy Commission (CEC) from certifying a nuclear fission thermal powerplant, except for specified powerplants, and provides that a nuclear fission thermal powerplant, except those specified powerplants, is not a permitted land use in California, unless certain conditions are met regarding the existence of technology for the construction and operation of nuclear fuel rod processing plants and of demonstrated technology or means for the disposal of high-level nuclear waste, as specified.

This bill would exempt small modular reactors (SMRs) from those provisions.

Existing law vests the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) with regulatory authority over electrical corporations and gas corporations. Under existing law, it is the policy of the state that eligible renewable energy resources and zero-carbon resources supply 100% of all retail sales of electricity to California end-use customers and 100% of electricity procured to serve all state agencies by December 31, 2045. Existing law requires the CPUC, the CEC, and all other state agencies to incorporate that policy into all relevant planning.

This bill would require the CPUC, on or before January 1, 2026, to adopt a plan to increase the procurement of electricity generated from nuclear facilities and to phase out the procurement of electricity generated from natural gas facilities.

Committee Location: FAILED in Assembly Natural Resources Committee April 10 hearing.

Full bill text and related information.

Bill Author