Exelon to close Byron and Dresden nuclear power plants

02 September 2020

The two-unit Byron NPP, comprising two pressurised water reactors with capacities of 1164MWe and 1136MWe will close in September 2021, and the two unit Dresden plant with two boiling water reactors with capacities of 894MWe and 879MWe in November 2021.

Dresden is licensed to operate for another decade and Byron for another 20 years. Together, they employ more than 1500 full-time employees and 2000 supplemental workers during refuelling outages.

“Although we know in our heads that shutting down the uneconomic Illinois plants is necessary to preserve even more jobs elsewhere, our hearts ache today for the thousands of talented women and men that have served Illinois families for more than a generation and will lose their jobs because of poorly conceived energy policies,” said Christopher Crane, president and CEO of Exelon. “But we are only about a year away from shutdown and we need to give our people, the host communities, and regulators time to prepare.”

“We recognise this comes as many of our communities are still recovering from the economic and public health impacts of the pandemic, and we will continue our dialogue with policymakers on ways to prevent these closures,” said Crane. “To that end, we have opened our books to policymakers and will continue to do so for any lawmaker who wishes to judge the plants’ profitability.”

“We agree with Governor Pritzker that policy reform is urgently needed to address the climate crisis and advance Illinois’ clean energy economy, and we support the objectives of the Governor’s recent energy principles,” added Crane. “That’s separate from today’s announcement to retire these two zero-carbon nuclear plants, which was not a decision made lightly and is one that has been in the works for some time.”

Foto: Bill Tracey