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NEI Encouraged by 'Reprieve' for Nuclear Power Plants in Illinois

WASHINGTON, Sept. 10, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Following is a statement by Richard Myers, the Nuclear Energy Institute's vice president for policy development and planning, on Exelon Corp.'s announcement that it will defer any decisions about the future operations of its Quad Cities and Byron nuclear plants in Illinois for one year. As a result, the company plans to continue operating its Quad Cities nuclear power plant through at least May 2018. The Byron plant is already obligated to operate through May 2019.

"Although only a temporary reprieve, Exelon's decision is an enormous win for the state of Illinois. The Quad Cities and Byron nuclear stations employ almost 1,800 people directly, and are responsible for an additional 7,500 indirect jobs in the state. The two facilities produce $3.1 billion a year in total economic value for the state, according to an economic analysis conducted by NEI. In addition to this immense economic value, these nuclear energy facilities are essential if Illinois hopes to reduce its carbon emissions. Quad Cities and Byron produce 34.6 billion kilowatt-hours of carbon-free electricity every year—more than three times the state's entire production from renewable energy.

"Nuclear power plants represent a unique value proposition, and competitive electricity markets must find a way to assign a value to these attributes or run the risk of losing them. PJM's reform to its capacity market does just that—it recognizes the reliability value of these baseload, always-on resources. Exelon's decision to defer shutdown decisions for Quad Cities and Byron demonstrates clearly that market reforms like PJM's achieve the desired effect. It's now time for states, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and regional transmission organizations like PJM to take the next step, and address the need for reforms in their energy markets."

The Nuclear Energy Institute is the nuclear energy industry's policy organization. This news release and additional information about nuclear energy are available at www.nei.org.

CONTACT: NEI's media relations staff at media@nei.org, 202.739.8000 during business hours or 703.644.8805 after hours and weekends.

Source:Nuclear Energy Institute