BYRON (WREX) — Time is ticking. As of June 16, Exelon announced closing dates for both of its reactors in Byron. One will close on September 14 with the second reactor closing two days later.
The closing dates though doesn’t mean the plant’s fate is sealed according to state representative Tom Demmer. Rather, this places a clear timeline that lawmakers have to save the plant and pass a clean energy bill.
"We really need to be looking at the horizons of weeks, not months or 90 days," Demmer said. I think there’s a huge sense of urgency to close the loops on the remaining outstanding items that we have."
Of the things to hammer out in Springfield, nuclear energy isn’t one of them per Demmer. He says the decision to keep using nuclear power in the state is a done deal. However, the sticking point is a major dispute over coal and natural gas.
"Those outstanding questions relate largely to the treatment of coal and natural gas fired electrical generation, especially with a few plants in southern Illinois," Demmer said.
One of those plants supplies electricity to Rochelle. An immediate shutdown would cost the city millions of dollars which is just one instance of how the debate over if and when these plants should be closed in a new clean energy deal.
Demmer added that conversations about these sticking points are going on every day, and that lawmakers could get called back to Springfield any day.
June 19, 2021 at 07:48AM