Illinois nuclear plants operated at nearly 100% in last week’s cold snap

Published: Feb. 22, 2021 at 3:36 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 26, 2021 at 12:56 PM CST
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(KWQC) - Last week’s brutal cold snap sent misery across much of the nation and put Midwestern nuclear power plants to the test.

Exelon, which operates six nuclear power plants in Illinois, says they operated around the clock keeping 11 million homes and businesses warm. All six plants ran at nearly 100% output levels last week.

“We are dedicated to delivering carbon-free, reliable energy for our customers when they need it most,” said Dave Rhoades, Exelon Generation Chief Nuclear Officer. “Our resiliency and commitment to operational excellence ensures reliability, especially during these extreme conditions,” he added.

Nuclear produces reliable power, especially during extremely cold stretches when demand for electricity is high. The plants generate more than half of Illinois’ electricity, according to a news release.

Illinois’ nuclear plants recorded a near-perfect reliability rate last summer, as well. During June, July and August of 2020, which was Illinois’ hottest summer on record, the plants operated 98.9 percent of the time.

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