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The Economic Value of Nuclear Energy in Illinois

Exelon made its case – see post below – and now we get a chance to look more deeply into the economic impact of the company’s 11 nuclear reactors (not to mention its corporate headquarters) in Illinois. NEI has released a report containing an independent analysis using a nationally recognized model to estimate the facilities’ economic impacts on the Illinois economy.

Consider:

Thousands of high-skilled jobs. Exelon employs 5,900 people at its nuclear energy facilities in Illinois. This direct employment creates about 21,700 additional jobs in other industries in the state. A total of nearly 28,000 jobs in Illinois are a result of Exelon’s nuclear operations.

Economic stimulus. Exelon’s Illinois nuclear plants are estimated to generate $8.9 billion of total economic output annually, which contributes $6.0 billion to Illinois’ gross state product each year. This study finds that for every dollar of output from Exelon’s Illinois facilities, the state economy produces $1.65.

Tax impacts. Exelon’s nuclear facilities in Illinois are estimated to contribute about $290 million in state and local taxes, and nearly $1.1 billion in federal taxes each year.

But the report has a sobering message, too.

In 2016 alone, the early retirement of the Byron, Clinton and Quad Cities nuclear energy facilities would result in a loss of nearly $4 billion of direct and indirect economic output in Illinois. The losses would increase each year thereafter and reach almost $5 billion in direct and secondary output by 2030. The number of direct and secondary jobs lost increases over a five-year period, peaking in the fifth year after the plants close, to more than 13,000 jobs lost in Illinois.

And that’s just a taster. Exelon made an excellent case for the value its facilities provides Illinois as a producer of carbon-emission free electricity. In a way, this is the rest of the story. By all means, download and read the whole report.

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