Saving Zion could curtail cost increase

The Madison County Record Jun. 18, 2011, 2:00am


To the Editor:

The Chicago Tribune's front page, lead story by reporter Julie Wernau on Sunday, June 12 was just as much of a shocker to me as was the decision made to waste The Zion Station by Exelon Corporation, CEO John Rowe: Electric bill shocker: 60% increase?

In what could only be described as an extensive citizen crusade to restart The Zion Station over the past two years, thereby saving its 2,100 megawatts of safe, clean and cheap power from forever being wasted through decommissioning, I've contacted state legislators, newspaper editors statewide, CEO John Rowe, and written countless letters and articles attesting to the value of the Zion Dual Nuclear Plant and the folly and short-sightedness of its premature closing in 1998.

There has been little or no response from my repeated requests. Instead, Illinois seems to be involved in its own death wish with its push for unreliable and costly solar and wind power to meet its future energy needs.

As such the Tribune's article was a timely one. Admitted by John Rowe is that Exelon Corporation expects to benefit because of its large fleet of nuclear power plants that have low emissions and are cheap to run compared with coal plants.

This only reinforces what a waste it is to destroy the Zion Plant without at least marketing it to see if someone will buy it, if, as predicted, future supply is going to tighten and drive up electricity rates making potentially cheap emission-free power from Zion all the more valuable and important for putting downward pressure on skyrocketing prices.

It is evident that Exelon has done its own economic analysis and has concluded that the corporation will benefit from selling the electricity from their current nuclear plants at a significantly higher price than they would if it had more power to sell. An increased supply of cheap, clean energy would only drive down their anticipated profit line.

Additionally, immediate decommissioning by ZionSolutions would give some access to Exelon Corporation to the $1 billion Decommissioning Trust Fund that is not being watched over by anyone. If the money is all gone when the project is over, but the project only cost half of the money, who is going to complain? It was stipulated that any monies left over would be returned to rate payers.

It Fukishiuma made a Zion restart less attractive, the Tribune article brings it back to the forefront as more important than ever!

It is way past time for those who are concerned about what the energy future holds for Illinois to step up and help carry the torch by informing the public and contacting legislators about the unnecessary wasting of the The Dual Zion Nuclear Plant in northern Illinois.

Nancy Thorner
Lake Bluff

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