Exelon said Friday that it would move forward with early retirements of its Clinton and Quad Cities nuclear power facilities if there were no policy actions in the state of Illinois that would give the company reason to reconsider.
Market considerations could also affect, the decision, Exelon said, noting that the retirements would proceed “if adequate legislation is not passed during the spring Illinois legislative session scheduled to end on May 31 and if, for Quad Cities, adequate legislation is not passed and the plant does not clear the upcoming PJM capacity auction later this month.”
Exelon operates the Clinton, Ill, plant, 23 miles southeast of Bloomington, a General Electric type 6 boiling water reactor (BWR) that has an operating license that runs through September 2026. The Quad Cities Nuclear Power Station consists of two GE type 3 BWRs with operating licenses that are currently good through December 2032.
Closing both plants could mean giving up a combined 40 years or so of licensed plant operations, the standard number of years for one first-time reactor license. It would be as if they company built a plant to completion, but decided for market economic reasons never to turn it on.
Exelon noted that it had been informing policy makers and others in the state for the past several years of the importance of recognizing nuclear energy as reliable, zero-carbon sources of energy, which is available for round-the-clock electricity production. “Exelon appreciates the broad support from policy-makers, plant community leaders, labor officials and business leaders, who have spoken to help preserve these sources of carbon-free, always-on electricity that have brought billions of dollars in economic benefits to the state of Illinois,” the company said.
Exelon deferred decisions on the future of its Clinton and Quad Cities plants last fall to give policy makers more time to consider energy market and legislative reforms. Since then, energy prices have continued to decline. Despite being two of Exelon's highest-performing plants, Clinton and Quad cities have been experiencing significant losses. In the past six years, Clinton and Quad Cities have lost more than $800 million combined, Exelon said.
Exelon reiterated some figures that have long been public. The state's own studies concluded that 4,200 direct and indirect job and nearly $12 billion in economic activity will be lost for the state within four years of the closure of the plants. The company, at this point, said it would work with community leaders to “prepare for this transition,” should the plants have to close.
The company also said it would help its own employees with offers to have them transition to other Exelon jobs around the country, should their current jobs abruptly come to an end.
Anonymous comments will be moderated. Join for free and post now!
While Exelon is proposing closing nearly 2000 MWe of carbon neutral electric power in Illinois, it is currently building 2000 MWe of greenhouse gas polluting natural gas power plants in Texas.
Just looking for corporate welfare and using people's jobs as political pawns. They made the push to deregulate while nuke was hot, before the gas boom, now they are crying about it being unfair now that gas is cheaper. Exelon brought this upon them.
Fate of Exelon is in the hands of a state government that can't even pass it's own budget.
Long term planning at its best with the country and world in mind.