Illinois Nuclear Reactors Similar in Design to Japan

By WEEK Producer

March 14, 2011 Updated Mar 14, 2011 at 10:24 PM CDT

Illinois has more nuclear power plants than another other state...and gets half it's electric power from atomic energy. Exelon Corporation owns them all.

Four of the Illinois reactors have the same design and manufacturer as the first reactor to fail Saturday in Japan.

Those reactors are in place at Exelon's two reactors at Dresden, near Joliet, and at its two Quad Cities reactors.

Exelon's CEO released a statement saying Illinois plants "are safe, particularly given the different seismic patterns in our regions and the absence of tsunami-type events."

But, Dave Kraft, of the Nuclear Energy Information Service says the four reactors in Illinois need to be re-evaluated for how they would tolerate a major earthquake.

"How many times do you get wacked in the face before you wake up? What's concerning us is the kind of flippant attitude that the federal regulators have put on seismic defense at our reactors in the Midwest," Kraft.

Illinois' Senators Durbin and Kirk cautioned against "knee jerk reactions" against nuclear energy...but Chicago Congressman Bobby Rush today asked for hearings on nuclear plant risks,

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