SOURCE: Nuclear Energy Institute

Nuclear Energy Institute

June 02, 2016 13:48 ET

Electricity Market Conditions Shutter Three Illinois Nuclear Reactors

Closures Portend Severe Economic, Environmental Impacts

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - June 02, 2016) - Exelon Corp. today announced the premature closing of three of the company's 11 reactors in Illinois-the single-reactor Clinton Power Station and both reactors at the Quad Cities Generating Station. The company plans to shut down the Clinton station on June 1, 2017, and Quad Cities a year later. Following is a statement from Marvin Fertel, president and chief executive officer at the Nuclear Energy Institute.

"The loss of Clinton and Quad Cities is a tragedy. Pending legislation would have advanced the state's clean air goals while making it possible for Clinton and Quad Cities to continue operating. This can be prevented for other nuclear power plants and the Illinois legislature should act quickly to pass legislation that best serves the people of Illinois.

"The premature closures of Clinton and Quad Cities continue an alarming trend-our nation is losing top-performing nuclear power plants due to flawed electricity market conditions. In the process, we are moving farther away from achieving our nation's ambitious clean air commitments.

"The premature closures will lead to a loss of 1,500 direct jobs, 4,200 indirect jobs and $1.2 billion in annual economic activity, according to reports from the state. The Clinton and Quad Cities facilities power more than 2.5 million Illinois homes.

The two nuclear energy facilities prevent the emission of more than 20 million metric tons of carbon dioxide every year, the equivalent of taking nearly 5 million cars off the road. Absent this clean-air energy, Illinois' obligation to reduce emissions by 30 million metric tons under the Clean Power Plan will be much more difficult. It's ironic that flawed energy policy and electricity market policies are leading to the shutdown of one of our most effective carbon-reduction tools at the same time that the United States is hosting the global Clean Energy Ministerial forum to promote policies and share best practices to accelerate the global transition to clean energy.

"At-risk nuclear plants are struggling because the electricity markets do not appropriately value the attributes of nuclear plants, including reliable electricity generation and their carbon-abatement value. This is fixable, but federal and state policymakers, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and regional electric system operators must address these shortcomings with urgency to prevent other power plants from shutting down prematurely."

The Nuclear Energy Institute is the nuclear energy industry's policy organization. This news release and additional information about nuclear energy are available at www.nei.org.

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