Letter: Byron decommissioning would be devastating; explore TVA option

To the Editor:

Exelon’s plan to decommission the Byron Generating Station would have devastating consequences for northwest Illinois, but policymakers shouldn’t accept the facility’s closure as a foregone conclusion.

Members of Congress from Illinois – and other states where nuclear plants are slated for closure due to the economics of nuclear power – should explore the feasibility of providing federal funds to the Tennessee Valley Authority in order to encourage it acquire and operate vulnerable nuclear plants.

The TVA currently operates three nuclear plants, including the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant in Athens, Alabama.

Whether the TVA would have any interest in expanding its nuclear portfolios is uncertain, but with changes to the TVA’s enabling legislation and the right financial incentives at the federal level, TVA ownership and management could potentially keep the Byron facility and other reactors open for business.

Brian Bartoz