Can the Byron nuclear power plant be saved?

Local News

BYRON, Ill. (WTVO) — Another organization has announced its support to save two Illinois nuclear power plants from closing, including the Exelon Byron Generating Station.

The University of Illinois and Chicago chapters of the American Nuclear Society hosted a webinar on Wednesday meant to educate state lawmakers and residents about the benefit of nuclear power plants.

The webinar also discussed how the stations provide funding for local school districts.

Panelists said they are worried about the effects that closures could have on the local economy and the environment.

“Closure of those plants would set off…what I call a ‘carbon bomb’,” said John Kotek, Vice President of Policy Development and Public Affairs’ of the Nuclear Energy Institute. “It would offset an entire year of wind and solar additions in the United States. In fact, just the two Byron reactors produce more carbon free electricity per year than all 7,200 wind turbines in the state of California.”

Exelon announced it would retire the Byron and Dresden nuclear power stations in the fall of 2021.

A recent study estimated the total contribution of the Byron plant to the Ogle County economy is more than 15% of the county’s GDP.

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