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EXCHANGE: Hundreds visit Exelon’s nuclear plant in Byron via The Seattle Times

BYRON, Ill. (AP) — Whenever he sees Exelon’s twin nearly 500-foot tall cooling towers gusting water vapor, 7-year-old Evan Northrup mentions to anyone who will listen “they’re making the clouds.”

[…]

About 500 people signed up to tour the Byron Generating Station’s training center. The most inquisitive asked questions of plant employees and technical experts wearing green. Children also tried on protective clothing that included rubber gloves, shoe covers and hoods.

Since 1985, the plant and its two units have been supplying electricity for more than two million homes. This year’s open house had more presenters and information to recognize Unit 2’s 30th anniversary. Each unit has a reactor producing power for about a million homes.

[…]

Carol DeWall can’t help but worry. She took notes regarding the spent fuel stored in 32 casks on the 1,782-acre property. The elderly woman remembers going to hearings before plant construction began in 1975.

She had concerns then, and she has concerns now.

“I see the two towers, and I wish I didn’t live so close,” said DeWall, who lives near Forreston.

She lingered in rooms with on-screen presentations and information booths that explained nuclear energy and its economic benefits, which include infusing $9 billion into the state’s economy every year and $290 million worth of state and local tax revenue, according to Exelon.

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