A republican congressman from Illinois, Adam Kinzinger, has sent a letter to the Oval Office urging President Biden to evoke emergency powers to support two nuclear power plants in his state in light of the state legislature’s unwillingness to act.
The owner of the plant, Exelon, has closures scheduled for the Byron and Dresden nuclear plants due to financial headwinds despite the value of nuclear power in combating global warming. The two plants, Exelon said recently, operated at full capacity in July due largely to air conditioning demands brought on by the weather, which was the hottest for the month on record in Illinois.
“In light of the scheduled decommissioning of Byron and Dresden Nuclear Generating Stations, both of which are located in my congressional district in Illinois, I write to you with an urgent request to take extraordinary measure to maintain continuity of operations for these plants,” the letter begins.
The letter notes that an additional 4,300 MW of generating capacity will be lost on top of the 5,306 MW of baseload lost in the past nine years dur to reactors closing prematurely for financial reasons.
In addition, two other plants, Diablo Canyon and Palisades, representing 3,067 MW of generating capacity, are similarly scheduled for decommissioning by the end of 2025 and Exelon has said it is close to announcing the closure of two more Illinois plants, Braidwood and LaSalle, also for financial concerns.
On the federal level, Kinzinger said he has seen growing bipartisan support for a federal bill that would protect this vital climate-change antidote. "With respect to nuclear power in Illinois, I have been disappointed time and again by failures of the state political leadership to forge a bargain and rebalance state policies to keep our nuclear plants online,” he said, whereas “I have been pleased to see a growing bipartisan … effort in Congress to preserve our existing nuclear generation."
In play are two possibilities for government assistance. One is the possibility that the state’s lawmakers will act quickly when called back into session on August 31. However, the nuclear power rescue bill has not been scheduled, so it is unlikely this “Hail Mary” play will come to fruition. A federal bill to support existing plants is in the works, but is assuredly too far away to do any good for the Byron and Dresden plants.
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Seems that Exelon needs to suck it up and support the people of Illinois.
I can not believe with all the lip service we have been getting on this green push, the powers to be are going to let another power plant close. This makes me think they have another agenda, maybe lining their pockets by other supposed green power producers.
We should keep our nukes in our base load power generation mix. We are falling
behind the rest of the world.