Don't waste Zion Nuclear Station

The Madison County Record Aug. 29, 2010, 1:42am

To the Editor:

On Aug. 23, it was disconcerting to read of Exelon's "massive spending program" in Crain's Chicago Business, which included the decommissioning of the Dual Zion Nuclear Station in Lake County.

After devoting so much of my life in the past two years in advocating for the reopening of the Zion nuclear facility, writing numerous letters to Springfield legislators serving on the Energy and Environmental Committees in both the House and the Senate, both Republicans and Democrats, I rightfully asked myself if all my time and effort had been in vain?

There is no better alternative for electrical-power generation than nuclear energy. It provides the safest, cleanest and the most inexpensive and potentially most plentiful and useful energy in human history.

How does shutting down the Zion facility for which Illinoisans paid billions for in order to waste the facility, thereby withholding supply from the market so electric market clearing prices might be kept higher for its other generation units and consumer prices high, benefit anyone but Exelon?

The news release by Exelon attempts to imply that its announcement should be considered virtuous by Zion residents and Illinoisans. My antenna tells me that whenever a utility goes to such great lengths to dress something up as virtuous, you can be sure it is trying to distract the public from something more sinister it wishes to hide.

The facility is capable of producing 2,100 megawatts of power. The decommissioning of the Zion plant will forever remove its massive 2,100 megawatts of power from the Midwest electrical grid. Is this a wise move by Exelon when electricity prices continue to soar?

There is still time to get involved as the nail in the proposed Zion coffin is still not tightly fastened. Exelon has not been forthcoming in explaining why Zion was closed prematurely and without cause in 1998, or why decommissioning now makes sense.

Through electric rates, citizens have already paid in the billions of dollars to construct the Zion plant. Questions must be asked of Exelon before it it too late.

It is but a pipe dream to believe that Illinois can meet future energy needs through investing in wind and solar power.

The only viable form of clean energy is nuclear.

Nancy J. Thorner
Lake Bluff

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