How Real Is The Threat To Close Nuke Plants?

Mar 11, 2014

Credit Exelon Corporation

One energy analyst says discussion about closing some of Exelon's nuclear power plants in Illinois should be viewed as a real possibility.

Exelon has told state lawmakers that unless profits improve, it may be force to shutter some of its facilities.

Paul Patterson monitors the industry for New York-based Glenrock Associates. He says the writing has been on the wall for some time now.

“There just hasn’t been a substantial increase in electricity demand, and in fact we’ve seen negative demand over a couple of years,” Patterson said.

Patterson says lower natural gas prices and increased output from wind power are contributing factors. He says the situation has already forced nuclear power plants in other states to close.

Patterson says unless operators can do things like secure government subsidies, or if prices rebound, the problems will persist.

Exelon has six power plants in Illinois, including one in Byron and another in LaSalle County.