"Economic Disaster"


Decatur - State Representative Bill Mitchell, (R) Forsyth, tells WAND News in an exclusive interview that closing the nuclear power plant in Clinton would "...be an economic disaster."

Mitchell says he met with Exelon representatives who told him closing the plant by the end of the year is "an option."  Mitchell says closing the plant, built by Illinois Power in the 1970's & 1980's, would have a negative economic impact on central Illinois.

"There's 700 employees that are well paid employees.  So if anything happened to the Clinton power plant it would be devastating for the economy," Mitchell told WAND's Doug Wolfe during an interview in Clinton.  "It would be a disaster."

Exelon CEO Chris Crane is telling analysts the company will decide by the end of the year whether to close some nuclear plants that are losing money due to low wholesale power prices.  Representative Mitchell confirms Clinton is one of the plants being considered for possible closure along with a plant in the Quad Cities.

"The employees out there are concerned about it," said Darrel Tucker who first started working at the plant in 1978.  "They rely on that as their income and it's important for their lively hood."

Many power station employees live in the Decatur area.  Decatur currently has the highest unemployment rate in the state at 12.7%.   

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