Exelon CEO: No Nuclear Plant Closures in Near Term

As the company reported second-quarter earnings, Exelon executives predicted a plan to take over operation of Constellation Energy Nuclear Group's reactors would result in cost savings. They also made assurances that smaller plants in Exelon's fleet are not at immediate risk of closure.

CENG was founded by EDF and Constellation, which was acquired by Exelon last year. In a conference call with analysts Wednesday, CEO Christopher Crane said integrating the five CENG reactors into the Exelon fleet would save $50 million to $70 million while allowing for better talent development.

Amid the surge of new natural-gas powered generation and a recent spate of U.S. reactor closures because of mechanical problems, an analyst also asked about the viability of Exelon's nuclear fleet overall. Crane replied, “We have worked hard over the last couple of years to continue to focus on cost to maintain some of the viability of the smaller units. ...There is nothing on the chopping block right now. It is constant work to look at cost, and it’s constant work to look at regulatory structure. And if it does not improve, we’ll be talking more about those facilities.”

He said refueling Clinton annually will keep it viable in the future, and he added that the company will continue to closely watch New York power regulations, which affect CENG's Ginna and Nine Mile Point plants.

The company also noted that Exelon's reactor fleet had a capacity factor of 92.8 percent in the second quarter.

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