nuclear energy

Cyndy Sims Parr / Flickr

The Land of Lincoln is the country's largest de facto nuclear waste dump.

nuclear cooling tower
Adam Winsor / (CC-BY-NC)

Illinois legislators are considering whether to approve an energy deal on behalf of power company Exelon. Without it, the corporation says it will close its nuclear plants in Clinton and the Quad Cities.


A hearing is being held this week in Chicago on a federal program designed to jumpstart renewable energy projects.  States that get on board would be allowed more emission allowances in exchange for investment in cleaner alternatives. 

Lisa Ryan/WUIS

Exelon is taking initial steps to close down two of its nuclear plants.

Exelon is amping up its threat to close three nuclear power plants, unless there's help from the legislature.

The company says it's not a bailout and instead argues its trying to level the playing field. Illinois already gives some incentives for renewable sources, like energy and wind.

Supporters of Exelon's measure, like Democratic Rep. Larry Walsh, Jr. of Joliet, say nuclear power deserves that push.

Host Amanda Vinicky and guests Andy Maloney (Chicago Daily Law Bulletin) and Patrick Yeagle (IL Times) discuss issues with the 2015 Budget, runoff in Chicago Mayoral race, and Exelon's nuclear prop-up plan.

CapitolView is a production of WSEC-TV/PBS Springfield, Network Knowledge.

Dick Durbin
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

As Democrats in coal states rush to distance themselves from new federal regulations intended to address global warming — Senator Dick Durbin says Illinois is in a good position among coal-producing states.

The Environmental Protection Agency under President Obama says states have to gradually cut carbon pollution from power plants by 30 percent based on 2005 levels.

Dry casks containing radioactive waste
WUIS/Illinois Issues

After the Chernobyl and Three Mile Island disasters, public support for nuclear power dropped precipitously. But in recent years, increased demand for electricity and concerns over carbon emissions that contribute to global warming have led to a so-called nuclear renaissance.

Illinois’ largest energy producer, Exelon, generated a buzz in April when the company revealed it is studying the feasibility of building a nuclear reactor in the small downstate community of Clinton.

Such a proposal would have been unheard of in Illinois just five years ago. That’s when Exelon’s corporate predecessor, Commonwealth Edison, was a lightning rod for worries about its poor safety record and inefficient production.