THREAT LEVEL: HIGH
The two reactors at Dresden Generating Station in Illinois are scheduled to close November 2021. While the plant has an operating license approved to 2029/2031, this premature retirement is for purely economic reasons. The plant owner, Exelon Corporation, maintains that the plant loses hundreds of millions of dollars per year because of declining energy prices and market rules that allow fossil fuel plants to underbid clean resources in capacity auctions. This is a failure of national electricity markets to support clean energy. Exelon is apparently willing to continue operating the plant if Illinois policymakers act quickly to compensate Dresden for its environmental attributes.
There are six nuclear stations in Illinois, two of which—Clinton and Quad Cities—are supported by the 2016 Future Energy Jobs Act, which compensates them for their clean energy attributes, thereby preventing their premature closure. Exelon owns the four remaining nuclear stations—Byron, Dresden, Braidwood and LaSalle—which do not receive support from that Act. Various studies disagree whether Dresden is economically viable. However, it is clear if Dresden were to close, Illinois citizens would pay dearly through increased fossil fuel pollution and health impacts, greenhouse gas emissions, higher energy costs, almost a thousand jobs lost, loss of local tax revenue, and the billions to build new replacement clean energy resources and transmission lines. The smart more for Illinois and the U.S. is to pay to keep Dresden operational in the short run and work to correct the flawed market structures which fail to compensate nuclear power plants for the value they bring to our electricity system. On
May 24th, 2021, we sent this letter to Illinois legislators urging them
to approve the Climate Union Jobs Act, which seeks to keep all Illinois
nuclear facilities open.
Dresden Historical Performance
Initiatives to save Dresden
It is not too late to join us in urging Illinois legislators to approve the Climate Union Jobs Act (CUJA) to save Dresden. Please sign our campaign and share your support by spreading the word that you want Illinois legislators to #Protect Nuclear Now. Please write an OpEd, an article, Facebook post or Tweet about this campaign or the CUJA. (Be sure to use the #PNN hashtag.)