CLINTON — The 29-year-old Clinton nuclear power plant, which employs some 700 people in central Illinois, will close on June 1, 2017, Exelon Corp. said today.
But U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, said today he thinks there’s still time to save the plant.
“The good news is we’ve got time because the closure is not set to take effect until next year,” Davis said. “We know that it’s going to be devastating to the families in and around DeWitt County, but it’s also going to be devastating to the families that rely upon that plant to generate power that families use to turn the lights on and cook meals.”
Exelon’s controversial energy plan included a provision increasing electric rates for all Illinois electric customers in order to keep the Clinton and Quad Cities plants open. The company said that the typical residential ratepayer would pay an additional 25 cents a month to keep the Clinton and Quad Cities nuclear plant, slated for a June 1, 2018 closure, in operation.
“I think the key point that many lose sight of when a large baseload generating plant like Clinton would close is how much of an impact that has on the overall power grid and what that does to the supply, and what that does to prices for consumers,” said Davis. “Renewable energy sources have their place but renewables like wind and solar and even hydropower cannot power the American economy. Nuclear energy does not get the credit it deserves for zero emissions and generating a lot of capacity. Nuclear energy gets a bad rap because of the waste.”
He said all of the Clinton plant’s nuclear waste fits inside a pool “that’s smaller than some pools we’ve seen in backyards.”