Constellation to Seek License Extensions for Two of its Zero-Carbon Nuclear Plants in Illinois
Constellation said it will ask the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to extend the operating licenses of its Clinton and Dresden nuclear power plants in Illinois by an additional 20 years.
November 01, 2022. By News Bureau
The extension means the two plants will contribute billions of additional dollars to Illinois’ economy and continue providing enough carbon-free energy to power the equivalent of more than 2 million homes, helping the state meet its goal to get 100 percent of its energy from clean sources by 2050.
If approved by the NRC, Clinton could operate until 2047 and Dresden could operate until 2049 (Unit 2) and 2051 (Unit 3).
The continued operation of the two zero-carbon plants is enabled by state and federal legislation that recognizes the unique environmental and economic value of nuclear energy.
Clinton and Dresden, along with three other Illinois plants, receive credits under two state laws that prevented the plants’ early retirement and preserved the clean energy they provide.
In addition, the federal Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) passed in August includes a nuclear production tax credit that will help support continued operation of the nation’s nuclear fleet for at least nine years.
Market forces and the continuation of supportive energy policies will play an ongoing role in the ability of the plants to operate for the duration of the extended licenses.
“To get to zero emissions in Illinois and nationally, we will need to operate every carbon-free resource we have for as long as we possibly can,” said Joe Dominguez, president and CEO of Constellation. “With these extensions, Clinton and Dresden will further demonstrate the capability of nuclear assets to provide always-on clean energy when and where it is needed for decades to come, which is a testament to their unique value in addressing the climate crisis. We credit the Illinois policymakers, members of Congress and other stakeholders who worked so hard to preserve these zero-carbon resources, and who can be proud of their role in supporting clean, reliable energy and contributing to our nation’s energy security.”
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