Extension sought for Clinton and Dresden nuclear power plants

CLINTON — The operator of the Clinton and Dresden nuclear power plants plans to ask the federal government to extend its license to operate the plants for another 20 years.

If approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commissionthe extensions would allow Constellation to operate Clinton Power Station until 2047, Dresden Power Station Unit 2 until 2049 and Dresden Power Station Unit 3 until 2051, said the society. Monday.

Dresden Unit 1 was withdrawn in 1978, according to on the Constellation website. This would be the first business license extension for the Clinton plant and the second for the Dresden plant.

In announcing it would seek the extensions, Constellation said the combination of the two plants would create enough energy to power more than 2 million homes. The company employs approximately 540 people at the Clinton factory and about 700 people at the Dresden plant, located in Morris.

Illinois has 11 reactors across six power plants, which generate more than half of the electricity generated in the state in 2021, according to to the US Energy Information Administration.

Constellation officials said the company believes the plants will play a critical role in helping Illinois transition to carbon-free power generation by 2050. They attributed the ability to continue operating the plants to credits created under two state laws and anticipate other tax credits through the Inflation Reduction Act.

“The Clinton factory is a huge economic engine of this region and the community,” DeWitt County Board Chairman Terry Ferguson said in the announcement. “(…) We hope to see the facility remain open for many more decades.”

The company expects to file the extension application in 2024. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission expects reviews to be completed within 30 months of application being filed, or 22 months if no hearing is required.

Contact Connor Wood at (309) 820-3240. Follow Connor on Twitter: @connorkwood

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