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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:08pm
Mon Feb 9, 2015

New 'Clean Jobs' Coalition To Push For Stronger Illinois Energy Targets

Environmental and business groups launched an "Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition" last week as part of a push for new statewide standards around energy efficiency and renewable energy. Progress Illinois takes a look at the coalition's goals.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
12:31pm
Fri Jan 23, 2015

State Report Examines Potential Impact Of Exelon Illinois Nuclear Plant Closures

Progress Illinois takes a look at a recent study by four state agencies exploring how the state's economy and environment as well as electric prices, generation capacity and service reliability could be impacted if Exelon retires three of its six Illinois nuclear plants prematurely.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
2:56pm
Mon Nov 10, 2014

Should The State Legislature Boost Exelon's 'Economically Stressed' Nuclear Plants?

Chicago-based nuclear giant Exelon Corp. insists several of its Illinois power plants are in dire financial straits, and the company appears poised to request a legislative fix from state lawmakers next year to avoid closing facilities. Progress Illinois takes a closer look at the issue.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
1:16pm
Fri Oct 17, 2014

Chicago Hosts U.S.-Canada Energy Summit; Cook County Board Opposes Canadian Nuclear Dump

Canada's minister of natural resources is in Chicago this week to talk U.S.-Canada energy policy. Progress Illinois provides highlights from the minister's keynote address and takes a look at a controversial proposal to build a nuclear waste disposal facility in Canada near Lake Huron's shore. The Cook County Board passed a resolution last week against the Canadian nuclear dump.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:48pm
Fri Aug 8, 2014

Report: New Nuclear Power Technology Would Siphon Resources Away From Renewable Energy

Promoters of developing mini nuclear reactors claim the new technology would be a potential game changer for the stagnant U.S. nuclear industry and cheaper to construct than traditional, larger reactors. Small modular nuclear reactors, or SMRs, could also play a part in combating climate change by providing a carbon-free energy source and possibly replacing antiquated fossil-fueled power plants, proponents say.

But one nuclear financing expert argues in a new report that SMRs, which have yet to be built in the United States, would be no cheaper than their larger counterparts. Mark Cooper, a senior fellow for economic analysis at the Institute for Energy and the Environment at the Vermont Law School, also warns that SMR development would suck up funding that could otherwise be used for what he says are more attractive energy options like wind and solar.

"Large reactors have never been economically competitive and there is no reason to believe that smaller reactors will fare any better," Cooper said. "Giving nuclear power a central role in climate change policy would not only drain away resources from the more promising alternatives, it would undermine the effort to create the physical and institutional infrastructure needed to support the emerging electricity systems based on renewables, distributed generation and intensive system and demand management."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
1:28pm
Tue Sep 17, 2013

Report: Nation's Water Supply Unable To Meet Future U.S. Electricity Demands

Authors of a new report say the nation's water supply that helps to produce electricity will not be able to keep up with future U.S. energy demands if population and climate change trends continue at their current pace.

About 97 percent of the nation's electricity currently comes from thermoelectric or hydroelectric generators, which rely on a massive amount of water to produce electricity, according to the report issued Thursday by the Massachusetts-based Civil Society Institute (CSI), a non-profit think tank. The report was prepared by Synapse Energy Economics, Inc., a consulting group focused on energy, environmental and economic topics.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:38pm
Thu Mar 28, 2013

Nuclear Reactor Shutdowns Could Likely Decrease Community Cancer Rates, New Study Finds

The first ever long-term study examining the health impact idled U.S. nuclear reactors have on people living near the facilities found a significant drop in cancer incidents since the plant's closing, prompting researchers to call for further study of other populations near shuttered plants — including two in Illinois.  

In a 20-year period since the California Rancho Seco nuclear reactor closed, there were 4,319 fewer cases of cancer reported in Sacramento County, which has a population of about 1.4 million. The shuttered plant is located about 25 miles from the center of Sacramento city.

The cancer drops were most notable in women, Hispanics and children, according to Joseph Mangano, executive director of the Radiation and Public Health Project, and co-author of the report published today in the Biomedicine International journal.

“The need here for more knowledge is great given how many reactors are near major population centers,” Mangano said on a conference call with reporters today. “The bottom line is clear. We need more information about the long-term impact of low level radiation from both idled and currently operating reactors.”

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