Exelon to invest $4.6 billion in nuclear in Illinois

24 August 2010

In September, Exelon Corporation will launch the first project in a $4.6 billion nuclear investment programme in Illinois. The programme, which will create some 4000 jobs over the next five years, includes the decommissioning of the shuttered Zion Station and equipment upgrades at six Illinois nuclear plants.

The first project in line is the decommissioning of the Zion Station, which officially begins in September. The $1 billion, 10-year project will be the largest nuclear plant dismantling ever undertaken in the United States, requiring an average of 200 skilled workers each year, most of them local, and a peak workforce of 400.

In a first-of-its kind arrangement approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Exelon expects to transfer the station licence early next month to EnergySolutions, which will dismantle the plant and remove material and parts to its Utah waste facility. Upon completion of the project, responsibility for the site will transfer back to Exelon, and the 200-acre site will be available for other unrestricted commercial uses. Throughout the process, Exelon will retain ownership of the plant's used nuclear fuel, which must remain on the property in a secure facility.

Other Exelon projects include $1.4 billion investment in uprates and $2.2 billion in additional plant upgrades and refueling operations six at Illinois nuclear stations through 2015.

"This is our own economic stimulus program for Illinois," said Exelon Nuclear president and chief nuclear officer Michael Pacilio. "The state is going through tough economic times, and we believe private investment, ultimately, is what will bring us back to prosperity. We want the people of Illinois to know that we're vested in their future."

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