Constellation has filed a subsequent license renewal application with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for its Dresden Clean Energy Center in Morris, Ill., following is request earlier this year to renew a 20-year license for the Clinton Clean Energy Center in Clinton.

Enabling the continued operation of Dresden through the renewal of its NRC license would provide the State of Illinois an estimated 305 TWh of additional electricity over the 20-year extended lifespan of the plant.

The Dresden facility’s license was first renewed by the NRC in 2004.

The filing begins a multi-year review by the NRC to renew the station’s license, which, with adequate market or policy support, would allow it to continue providing Illinois with energy for another 20 years through 2051, although future policy and market conditions will ultimately determine how long the plant operates. Dresden is currently licensed to operate through 2029 for Unit 2 and 2031 for Unit 3.

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“Extending the operating licenses of the nation’s nuclear fleet for an additional 20 years will add more clean megawatts to the grid than all the renewables ever built in this country, and those nuclear plants will continue operating long after the wind and solar facilities under construction today are retired,” said Joe Dominguez, president and CEO of Constellation. “Nuclear produces half of America’s clean energy, but many still take it for granted and wrongly assume it will always be there. In reality, Constellation reinvests hundreds of millions of dollars each year in its industry-leading nuclear fleet to keep these massive economic engines running, providing thousands of family-sustaining jobs, preserving energy security and delivering the unmatched reliability we need to grow our economy while addressing the climate crisis.”

The Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA) enacted by Illinois lawmakers in 2021 prevented Dresden from being retired prematurely during a period of economic uncertainty. Enactment of the federal nuclear production tax credit in 2022 extended policy support through 2032.

The Dresden license renewal application is the latest in a series of investments meant to accelerate clean-energy growth initiatives across the company. In February, Constellation announced it is seeking license renewal for its Clinton Clean Energy Center in Central Illinois. In 2023, Constellation announced the acquisition of a partial ownership stake in the South Texas Project nuclear plant, an $800 million uprate project to add more carbon-free output at the Braidwood and Byron clean energy centers in Illinois, and a $350 million repowering project that included upgrades at the Criterion Wind Project in Maryland.

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