News Local/State

Exelon to ‘Move Forward’ On Closure Of Clinton, Quad Cities Nuclear Plants

Exelon's Clinton nuclear power station.

Exelon's Clinton nuclear power station, in an undated photo. Wikimedia Commons

Exelon Corporation says it’s moving ahead with plans to shut down its Clinton and Quad Cities nuclear plants, after lawmakers adjourned their regular spring session without passing legislation the energy company had sought to bring new revenue to the facilities.

In a news release issued Thursday morning, Exelon said the Clinton Power Station in DeWitt County would close on June 1st of next year, and the Quad Cities Generating Station near Cordova would close a year after that in 2018.

In the news release, Exelon says that while the Illinois legislative session is not entirely over, the “path forward … is not clear” for lawmakers to consider the company’s so-called Next Generation Energy Plan.

Exelon says it will send permanent shutdown notifications to the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission within 30 days, terminate capital investment projects at the two nuclear plants, and cancel fuel purchases and outage planning for the facilities.

Closure of the Clinton and Quad Cities nuclear plants is expected to eliminate approximately 1,500 jobs in DeWitt County and the Quad Cities area.

Exelon says it will still work for passage of the Next Generation Energy Plan, even if passage comes "too late to save some plants".

Exelon says the legislation would "establish a more equitable utility rate structure", help zero-carbon energy producers in general and create a new revenue stream for its money-losing Clinton and Quad Cities plants.

Critics have questioned the fairness of the Exelon-backed legislation, calling it a "bailout" for a company that is profitable overall.

Republican Congressman Rodney Davis of Tayloville released a statement Thursday.

"I am extremely disappointed to hear of Exelon's announcement and continue to urge state legislative leaders to find a legislative solution that will allow Illinois' nuclear plants, including Clinton Power Station, to continue to provide low-cost, reliable energy to millions of families and prevent more than 4,000 people from losing their jobs. It's time to put politics aside, and find a solution that recognizes the benefits of nuclear energy and the economic opportunities it provides our state."

(This article was updated and expanded on 6/2/16 at 8:59 AM CDT)