Constellation looking to renew license for Clinton nuclear facility

Published on February 20, 2024 by Dave Kovaleski

© Constellation

Constellation Energy filed an application with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to renew its license for its Clinton Clean Energy Center in Clinton, Ill.

If NRC decides to renew the station’s license, Constellation would be allowed to continue providing carbon-free energy to the region for another 20 years. The Clinton facility is currently licensed to operate through April of 2027. The renewal would give Constellation the ability to keep this plant operating through 2047.

“Our nation desperately needs more new, clean, firm megawatts to power our homes, businesses, and new technologies to improve our everyday lives. This facility has operated 24/7 during the most extreme summer and winter weather to hit the Midwest in a generation, and we are doing everything possible to ensure it has the opportunity to continue to operate for another 20 years,” Joe Dominguez, president and CEO of Constellation, said. “Sustained investment in our nation’s nuclear power plants, which provide about half of all the clean energy on the grid and are the most reliable source of energy, is essential.”

As concerns about climate change and energy reliability have grown, there is more support globally for expanding the use of nuclear energy. Constellation officials said nuclear energy plants are the only carbon-free energy resources that can operate 24/7 in all weather conditions.

The Clinton facility produces enough carbon-free electricity to power the equivalent of 800,000 homes Renewing the license would provide Illinois an estimated 179-terawatt hours of additional carbon-free electricity over the 20-year extended lifespan of the license. This is more clean energy than all of Illinois’ wind and solar facilities have produced to date. Further, Illinois would need to site more than 1,000 new wind turbines to generate the same amount of electricity that Clinton will be able to provide.

In addition, the Clinton site employs 532 employees and is DeWitt County’s largest employer.

“The Clinton Clean Energy Center is not only the largest carbon-free electricity source in Central Illinois, but it also provides a major boost to the economy,” Dan Matthews, president of the Clinton School District Board and a member of the DeWitt County Board, said. “The more than $13 million in annual property taxes supports education and county services, and the large number of employees live here and spend money, which supports local business and creates additional jobs. The plant’s relicensing is an important part of DeWitt County’s economic future.”

Constellation Energy is the nation’s largest producer of clean, carbon-free energy, with an annual output that is nearly 90 percent carbon-free.