Open house set for Clinton nuclear plant's 30th anniversary

Open house set for Clinton nuclear plant's 30th anniversary

CLINTON — Employees at the Clinton nuclear power plant — which a year ago was slated to be shut down this summer — will celebrate the facility's 30th anniversary next week with an open house and tour.

The power plant began producing power for commercial use on April 24, 1987, but didn't operate at 100 percent power until Sept. 15, 1987.

At that time, the plant was operated by Illinois Power Co., which had built it at a cost of about $4.2 billion. When it was proposed for construction in 1973, Illinois Power said it would cost $429 million.

Today, the plant is owned by Exelon Generation and produces electricity for more than 1 million regional homes and businesses, according to Exelon.

A free open house will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Clinton Power Station training center, 8401 Power Road, 6 miles east of Clinton and about 35 miles west of Champaign.

Plant employees and technical experts will be available to educate visitors about plant operations, site maintenance, engineering practices, environmental stewardship, radiological safety and emergency preparedness. Visitors can also tour the nuclear plant's control-room simulator, which is used for training reactor operators. Refreshments will be served.

"We look forward to celebrating our 30th anniversary with the community in DeWitt County this year at our open house. We hope to see a big turnout of local residents and families so we can thank them for supporting us," said Ted Stoner, vice president of the Clinton Station site. "With their help, Clinton will be powering this community and delivering clean energy for many years to come."

Last year, Exelon had threatened to close the Clinton plant in 2017 and its Quad Cities plant in June 2018, claiming that both were losing hundreds of millions of dollars. But in December, the Legislature approved the "Future Energy Jobs" bill, which provided Exelon with $235 million in ratepayer-funded zero-emission credits annually for 10 years. In exchange, Exelon pledged to keep both of the plants open for at least 10 more years.

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