ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Senate has approved legislation giving energy regulators authority to issue permits for new nuclear power plants.

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Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch says the bill wouldn’t lead to immediate construction of a plant. It would get rid of a 17-year-old moratorium on consideration of nuclear energy facilities.

The bill passed Wednesday on a 50-14 vote.

Democratic Sen. Ellen Anderson failed in her attempt to add language preventing power companies from billing customers for planning and construction before a plant comes on line.

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Labor unions and business leaders have promoted a repeal of the moratorium.

Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton has raised concerns over nuclear-waste storage but hasn’t taken a clear position on how he would treat a bill that reaches him.

Minnesota currently has two nuclear plants.

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