The man in charge of decommissioning two nuclear generating stations in Illinois says the point-of-no-return date is about two weeks after the plants are shut down
Exelon Senior Manager of Decommissioning Jeff Dunlap said notifying the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission of removal of the radioactive fuel rods at the Quad Cities and Clinton power stations is essentially the point-of-no-return. "Once we shut down and send that certification on permanent removal of the fuel, at that point it gets very hard," he said.
Dunlap said nuclear power is unique from other sources of clean energy. "Nuclear provides a very strong, reliable source of base-load power that we're going to be losing. You can't get that with most of the other power sources that we have."
In a statement, Exelon president and CEO Chris Crane said, "We have worked for several years to find a sustainable path forward in consultation with federal regulators, market operators, state policymakers, plant community leaders, labor and business leaders, as well as environmental groups and other stakeholders. Unfortunately, legislation was not passed, and now we are forced to retire the plants."
Many consumer advocates and state Attorney General Lisa Madigan oppose providing state aid to Exelon.
The Clinton plant is set to shut down in June 2017 and the Quad Cities plant one year later.