Illinois congressman wants jolt of certainty for nuclear power

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) wants to add a jolt of certainty into the nuclear power industry.

Illinois has six nuclear power plants that house a combined 11 nuclear reactors.

According to the Nuclear Energy Institute, those plants provide nearly half of the electricity in Illinois.

However, Kinzinger is worried about the long-term future of the plants, and the jobs they provide.

In 2016, Illinois state lawmakers helped prevent two of those plants from shutting down by approving millions in subsidies to Exelon Corporation, the company that owns and runs the plants.

Kinzinger wants to create more certainty by changing federal regulations, because he says the plants shutting down would be devastating for the state.

Kinzinger explained, "The 16th district has the most nuclear power plants of any in the country and we have four nuclear power plants. But nuclear power has been somewhat priced out of the market and also in many cases these plans are coming to the end of their life."

Kinzinger's bipartisan bill would make it cheaper for companies to operate plants by adjusting house much they pay an oversight agency. The bill would also streamline licensing and decommissioning processes.