Exelon to close Quad Cities, Clinton nuclear power plants

Clinton Nuclear Station

CHICAGO (AP) — Exelon Corp. said Thursday that it will shut two Illinois nuclear power plants after the state Legislature declined to act on the company's request for financial support.

The Clinton Power Station in Clinton will close June 1, 2017, and the Quad Cities Generating Station in Cordova will close June 1, 2018, the Chicago-based power provider said in a news release.

(Click here for Chief Editor Teresa Hansen's take on the plant closures)

Exelon said it made the decision because the future is unclear for legislation that it backs that would extend state subsidies to nuclear power plants for producing reliable, carbon-free electricity that will help Illinois meet federal mandates.

Illinois lawmakers formally adjourned their spring session Tuesday.

"Unfortunately, legislation was not passed, and now we are forced to retire the plants," Exelon President and CEO Chris Crane said in a statement. "We wish the outcome would have been different."

Exelon said it would continue to work to pass the legislation, known as the Next Generation Energy Plan. The company said it would brief the Illinois governor's office, state officials and community leaders. Exelon said it will work with municipalities to prepare for the impact of the closures.

The Clinton and Quad Cities locations are Exelon's best-performing plants, but they've lost $800 million over the last seven years, the company said. About 1,500 people work at the two plants.

Exelon said it has started taking necessary steps to shut the plants. Those include sending permanent shutdown notifications to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, stopping investment projects required to operate the plants long-term and canceling fuel purchases and outage planning.

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