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U.S. nuclear output slips as Exelon slows reactor

From Bloomberg News | U.S. nuclear-power output slipped for a second day as Scana Corp. slowed its Summer reactor in South Carolina and Exelon Corp. slowed the 1,152-megawatt Braidwood 2 reactor in Illinois to 91 percent of capacity from 97 percent yesterday.

ICC judges recommend 3% rate hike for ComEd

Even as Commonwealth Edison fights in Springfield for legislation that would set utility rates by formula and sharply undercut the authority of the Illinois Commerce Commission, at home, that same regulatory body is undercutting ComEd in its battles for rate increases.

Administrative law judges recommended that Commonwealth Edison Co. be allowed a rate increase of about 3 percent, or $166 million, less than half what the Chicago-based utility requested last June. Get the full story »

Officials doubted nuclear safety plans: Watchdog

A private U.S. nuclear safety group disclosed a batch of internal emails from the nation’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission that it said undercuts officials’ recent assertions that U.S. nuclear reactors are prepared for a Fukushima-scale disaster. Get the full story »

Update: Illinois has enough anti-radiation drugs

If a nuclear reactor were to melt down in Illinois, the state has enough potassium iodide on hand to distribute to residents living within 10 miles of a nuclear power plant, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency said Friday.

A top official with the agency had said earlier at a public forum hosted by U.S. Senators Mark Kirk and Dick Durbin that there weren’t enough tablets on hand.

An IEMA spokeswoman clarified Friday, saying that the agency has 90,000 tablets on hand for first responders and 175,000 tablets on-hand to distribute to the public. She said about 180,000 people total live within 10 miles of a nuclear reactor in Illinois. Joseph Klinger, the assistant director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency misspoke when he said 180,000 people on average live within 10 miles of each nuclear plant in Illinois. Get the full story »

Exelon unable to quantify quake costs

The U.S. nuclear industry will see a “significant” increase in operating and regulatory costs following the Japanese nuclear emergency, but the magnitude won’t be known for several months, the head of the largest fleet of U.S. nuclear reactors said on Thursday. Get the full story »

Exelon gets $6.4B of loans to refinance credit lines

From Bloomberg News | Exelon Corp. said today in a regulatory filing that it refinanced revolving credit lines with $6.4 billion of new loans.

Quinn to seek higher fees on nuclear generators

Gov. Pat Quinn says he plans to seek higher fees on power generator Exelon Corp. to ensure the safety of Illinois nuclear power plants in the aftermath of Japan’s nuclear crisis.

Shares of Exelon, other nuclear operators fall

Nuclear generators’ shares are falling on concerns they will face greater scrutiny and new regulations as Japanese utilities try to prevent meltdown at a number of reactors.

Exelon, the largest U.S. nuclear operator,¬† is down 2.9 percent, to $41.91, in early afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange. PSEG¬† is down 3.2 percent, to $3.36, and Entergy has dropped 5.6 percent, to $69.58. Get the full story »

Citizens Utility Board: ComEd rates higher

A nonprofit watchdog group has released an apples-to-apples price comparison for electricity contracts offered by ComEd and other suppliers in northern Illinois.

The Citizens Utility Board posted the comparison on its website.

Its shows that BlueStar, Champion, Constellation, Direct Energy and Spark offer 12-month fixed-rate contracts with prices lower than Commonwealth Edison’s through at least May of 2011. Get the full story »

Exelon plans 22% growth in capacity

Exelon Corp., the largest U.S. nuclear power plant operator, expects to invest 22 percent more this year, giving an outlook on Wednesday for 2011 capital expenditure of $4.05 billion. Get the full story »

Exelon CEO: Congress should ‘do nothing’ on energy policy

John W. Rowe. (Chuck Berman/Chicago Tribune)

Natural gas will remain cheaper than other sources of electricity generation for “a long time,” Exelon Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive John W. Rowe said Tuesday.

“I have never seen a time, not once, where one fuel source seems to be so dominant for so long,” said Rowe, one of the senior utility executives in the U.S. and former head of two utility trade organizations in Washington. “The supply-demand equations for gas are very powerful and I believe they are real for a long time.”

As a result of those economics, Rowe said, the U.S. Congress should “do nothing” on energy policy and allow the market to replace aging coal generating plants with natural gas, which releases less carbon than coal when burned. Get the full story »

U.S. nuclear output falls; Exelon slows reactor

From Bloomberg News | Chicago-based Exelon Corp. slowed its 1,134-megawatt Limerick 1 reactor located 30 miles northwest of Philadelphia to 90 percent of capacity from full power yesterday, with the 1,134-megawatt Limerick 2 now at 99 percent of capacity. The move came as total U.S. nuclear-power output fell 1.1 percent after PPL Corp. slowed its Susquehanna 1 reactor in Pennsylvania on Thursday, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said.

Exelon, ADM may be in Buffett’s sights

From Bloomberg News | Billionaire Warren Buffett said in his annual letter that wants to use his almost $40 billion pile of cash to pursue bigger acquisitions. That may put companies from Archer Daniels Midland Co. to General Dynamics Corp. and Exelon Corp. in his sights. Get the full story>>

Businesses have dim view of ComEd in survey

For the third year in a row, business customers have placed Commonwealth Edison second-to-last in customer satisfaction among its Midwest peers.

According to a J.D. Power and Associates study — based on interviews with representatives of more than 17,000 U.S. businesses that spend between $500 and $50,000 monthly on electricity — ComEd tied for second-to-last place with the state’s other major utility Ameren Illinois. Both received a score of 607 on a 1,000 point scale. Get the full story »

Illinois AG opposes ComEd automatic rate hikes

Attorney General Lisa Madigan said today that she is “strenuously opposed” to state legislation introduced this week that would determine utility rates by formula, joining a strong opposition group that includes AARP Illinois, Citizens Utility Board and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Commonwealth Edison — which is behind the bill — and other state utilities would be able to lock in profit margins above 10 percent under the proposal. The legislation also proposes that rate hikes for consumers, which typically undergo an 11-month regulatory review, could be decided in as little as 45 days. Get the full story »