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State bill created to help save the Byron nuclear power plant

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BYRON (WREX)— As the closure of the nuclear power plant in Byron approaches, lawmakers are trying everything to save it.

One of those efforts is House Bill 1472.

State Representative, and co-sponsor of the bill, Dave Vella, says the bill would act as a loan to the plant.

"They would go and buy the fuel rod, and then we would keep track of whether they are making money or not. If they are making money, they will pay back the loan. If not, then at least we are getting a bridge fuel that would get us from coal to renewables," Vella said.

Meaning the plant could run longer, while the town finds a new source of clean energy.

The plant needs the money to buy more fuel by May 31st because the fuel will run out.

Exelon announced last year it was retiring the plant because it was not making enough money.

Leaders say the closure of the plant would be detrimental to the community.

"The Byron generator is the economic anchor for Byron and the region. To take that away is like pulling the rug from under us," said Byron Mayor John Rickard.

"That's an 87 million hit just to the property taxes that the power plant brings to Byron. Let alone the community work that is invested into our community," said State Rep. Maurice West.

Byron Mayor John Rickard encourages people to fill out a witness slip for this or any bill they support, which vouches why the plant should stay.

"The more witnesses that they see, regarding the issue before us, the more a legislator can say that's a lot of support," said Rickard.

Lauren Baker

Lauren Baker is the 13 News weekend evening anchor. She started in April of 2019 after moving from Michigan, where she was a morning producer/traffic reporter.

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