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State and Federal Nuclear Energy Policies

Written by Dr. Tomotaroh Granzier-Nakajima
Published on February 23, 2023
Research Highlights

States take many approaches to incentivize or restrict nuclear energy production.

Missouri currently does not have any statutory nuclear incentives or regulations.

See our related Science Note on Nuclear Energy for more information.


States take many approaches to incentivize or restrict nuclear energy production (Table 1). Missouri currently does not have any statutory nuclear incentives or regulations. 

Table 1. Summary of state nuclear energy policies, as of February 2023 (NCSL n.d.; Shea 2017). 


The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is an independent agency that regulates nuclear reactor and material safety. They also license new reactors and perform safety and environmental reviews.  

Two recent federal pieces of legislation include provisions to support new and existing nuclear energy operations in the U.S.  

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) includes incentives for nuclear power plants, such as: 

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)  provides additional nuclear energy incentives, including an up to $15 per MWh production tax credit for utilities to help existing nuclear reactors prevent closure.  

Under the IRA, new plants can either claim:  

  • a production tax credit of $25 per MWh for the first 10 years of operation;  
  • or a 30% investment tax credit on carbon-free power plants that start operations after 2024.  

These incentives include a 10% bonus if the plant is built in a: 

  • fossil fuel industry-dependent communities affected by the clean energy transition, or  
  • previously used property that may be contaminated by hazardous material, a pollutant, or contaminant (brown field sites). 



National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). (n.d.). States restrictions on New Nuclear Power Facility Construction. National Conference of State Legislatures. Retrieved February 20, 2023, from https://www.ncsl.org/environment-and-natural-resources/states-restrictions-on-new-nuclear-power-facility-construction   

Shea, D. (2017, May 30). Report state options to keep nuclear in the energy mix. NCSL. Retrieved February 21, 2023, from https://www.ncsl.org/energy/state-options-to-keep-nuclear-in-the-energy-mix  

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