With the nuclear reactor crisis emerging in Ukraine as a backdrop, a bill – HB 5589 — has been introduced in the Illinois Legislature that would remove a decades-old moratorium on constructing new nuclear reactors in Illinois. Read more

“Public Official A”  — the former Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan — has (finally) been indicted under the charges of racketeering, relating to the ComEd lobbying scandal of 2020.  It ultimately led to Madigan leaving his post in the Illinois legislature after serving as House Speaker for 36 years.

Illustrated by George Eckart

The scandal resulted in a guilty plea by ComEd and a $200 million fine; and the indictment of three of ComEd/Exelon’s top executives: Exelon Utilities CEO and President Anne Prammagiore, former ComEd lobbyist John Hooker, and consultant Jay Doherty.   ComEd’s vice president of governmental and external affairs Fidel Marquez resigned, and later plead guilty to a charge of bribery.  Trial dates are expected in 2022.  Throughout initial FBI investigations relating to these individuals, references were made of “Public Official A”, which by description could only have been Madigan.

Madigan becomes the second state legislature House speaker to be indicted by the FBI.  Former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder was also indicted relating to a $60 million bribery scheme to support a nuclear utility in Ohio.  Madigan continues to proclaim his innocence.

It is amazing how nuclear power utilities and federal indictments relating to bribery and more are being paired up in recent years.  In addition to the two indictments above, a utility executive overseeing the construction of SCANA’s VC Summer nuclear plant in South Carolina also plead guilty in the $11 billion fraud case in 2020.

Nuclear power seems to go hand in hand with political corruption.

 

Ex-Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan is indicted on federal racketeering charges

By Dan MihalopoulosDave McKinneyTony Arnold —  WBEZ-FM

ILLINOIS ENERGY TRANSFORMATION #28: Getting Our Money’s Worth with Nuclear Power? Caveat Emptor!

Feb. 12, 2022

The recent $694 million bailout of 6 Constellation (nee Exelon) nuclear reactors in Illinois was not good news for ratepayers, Illinois or a renewable energy future.  It was made recently worse by the announcement by Constellation Energy (the Exelon nuclear spin off LLC corporation) that it would seek permission from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to operate its 11 Illinois reactors for up to 80 years – 40 more than the originally granted operating license, and 20 years beyond the 20-year operating license extensions already granted all Illinois reactors except the single Clinton reactor. Read more

Oppose HB5589, a bill that repeals Illinois nuclear reactor construction moratorium

HB5589 was introduced on January 28 by Rep. Mark L. Walker (D,  53rd District) of Arlington Heights.  The bill in essence repeals a provision of the Public Utilities Act that currently prohibits construction of any new nuclear power reactor in Illinois UNTIIL the Federal Government has opened and operates a high-level radioactive waste facility for permanent disposal of the deadly high-level radioactive wastes the reactors produce. (for more details, see “Background” below). Read more

CANCER RATE IN GRUNDY COUNTY, SITE OF DRESDEN NUKE PLANT, AMONG HIGHEST IN ILLINOIS, WORST FOR RADIATION-SENSITIVE CANCERS

Embargoed until September 30, 2021, 10 a.m. Central Standard Time

Contact: Joseph Mangano, (484) 948-7965; David Kraft, (773) 342-7650; neis@neis.org

The current [**2014-2018] cancer incidence rate in Grundy County, the site of the Dresden nuclear plant, is 22%** above the state rate, the 9th highest** of all 102 Illinois counties, and one of the highest in the United States, according to a new report** released today. Read more

An otherwise excellent Chicago Tribune summary of the proposed Comprehensive Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CCEJA) was marred by the oversimplified one-line explanation for critics’ opposition to continued Exelon nuclear plant bailouts.  While legitimate to question and oppose bailing out a profitable corporate welfare queen like Exelon, the real reasons are more numerous and complex.

The $694 million Exelon bailout proposed in CCEJA is nearly twice the amount found financially defensible by Governor Pritzker’s $250,000 independent audit commissioned earlier this year.  What’s the justification for increasing ratepayer abuse? Read more

Sept. 3, 2021

This originally was going to be a “summer summary” of NEIS’ work.  However, the importance and prominence of the proposed nuclear bailouts at both the Illinois-State and federal levels argued for a delay of that idea, and an update report to people committed to safe-energy and a less-nuclear world and the negative effects of the continued “nuclear hostage crisis” on our carbon-free/nuclear-free future.

ILLINOIS ENERGY BILL MOVES FORWARD, STILL IN LIMBO:

The omnibus energy bill (SB18, amended; now SB1751, House Amendment 1, no link available yet) continues to lurch forward with the surprise Senate passage on Tuesday Sept. 2 in the wee hours Read more

In previous installments of this series, NEIS has attempted to keep the size down to 1-2 pages max.  This issue it too important to confine to that limit.

A major paper was recently released that raises a serious performance issue for those in favor of continued use of nuclear power.  It comes at a critical time when states are debating enormous bailouts of existing nuclear plants that would delay implementation and continue the underfunding of renewable energy, efficiency, storage and transmission upgrades; and entertaining the fanciful promises of a future generation of nuclear reactors being pitched as “solutions” to the climate crisis.

The report, “Increase in frequency of nuclear power outages due to changing climate,” (Nature Energy | VOL 6 | July 2021 | 755–762 | www.nature.com/natureenergy)[1] reveals the vulnerability of nuclear power plants to the extreme weather conditions of the ever-escalating climate crisis.  The Report found:

“In the 1990s, the average frequency of environment-induced outages (full and partial) was around 0.2 outage per reactor-year, but since then it has increased by around eightfold, reaching an average of 1.5 in the past decade.” (emphasis ours). [1] Read more

THE CORROSIVE EFFECTS OF NUCLEAR BAILOUTS

David Kraft, Director, Nuclear Energy Information Service

July 15, 2021

Nuclear bailouts represent the government’s way of turning people into utility ATM machines.  At the state level, that would be ratepayers.  At the federal level, that would be the U.S. taxpayers.  It’s always easier to spend somebody else’s money, especially when trying to score political points with voters and donors.

Nowhere is this more in evidence than in the states of Illinois and Ohio, characterized by not only outrageous nuclear bailouts imposed on ratepayers, but also horrendous amounts of political corruption essential and intrinsic to sealing the deals. Read more

Illinois Legislators should oppose Exelon’s current $700 million nuclear ransom demand.  You can’t build an energy future by bailing out the past.

Recent revelations [1] that Exelon’s business partner EDF is curbing its enthusiasm for the creation of Exelon’s spin-off company “SpinCo” should warn Illinois legislators about the danger of granting the recently proposed nuclear bailout [4].

Earlier this year Exelon announced it would be splitting off and segregating its money-losing, unprofitable nuclear reactors into a separate entity called “SpinCo.” Read more