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Exelon: Byron plant will shut down Sept. 13 if lawmakers do not reach deal

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BYRON (WREX) — A plan to save the Byron nuclear plant reaches the eleventh hour as lawmakers fight on a clean energy bill in Springfield.

Exelon released a statement to 13 WREX Wednesday that the plant will permanently close Sept. 13 unless legislation is passed to subsidize refueling the plant.

"To be clear, Byron will run out of fuel and will permanently shut down on September 13 unless legislation is enacted," an Exelon spokesperson said.

The Illinois Senate passed another version of the clean energy bill largely along party lines early Wednesday morning during a special session. However, the House adjourned before taking the matter up. Rep. Dave Vella (D) Rockford said the House could vote on the measure as soon as next week.

Sen. Steve Stadelman (D) Rockford voted to approve the plan while Sen. Dave Syverson (R) Rockford and Sen. Brian Stewart (R) Freeport voted against it. Syverson said a plan to save the nuclear plant shouldn't be lumped in with a clean energy bill.

Read the full statement from Exelon:

“We will never stop fighting to preserve our state’s nuclear plants, knowing that the minute they close our customers will experience dirtier air and higher energy costs. A recent analysis found that achieving 100 percent clean energy without the nuclear plants in northern Illinois would cost consumers $80 billion more between 2022 and 2035. Losing the nuclear plants also will reverse the progress Illinois has made in reducing carbon emissions. In fact, if Byron and Dresden close, air pollution will immediately increase by the equivalent of adding 4.4 million cars to the road as fossil plants ramp up production to replace their carbon-free energy. While we currently have no choice but to continue preparing for their premature retirement, we have established off-ramps that will allow us to reverse that decision if lawmakers pass legislation with enough time for us to safely refuel the plants. To be clear, Byron will run out of fuel and will permanently shut down on September 13 unless legislation is enacted.  We have been clear that we cannot refuel Byron on September 13 or Dresden in November absent policy changes.”