A Closer Look at Illinois Nuclear Plants

By WEEK Reporter

March 23, 2011 Updated Mar 23, 2011 at 10:14 PM CDT

The Dresden Nuclear reactors at Morris and two plants in the Quad Cities are the same type as in Japan's Fukushima complex. Exelon, which owns all of Illinois Nuclear power plants, is pushing the differences...

"Our emergency diesel generators are designed and set up very differently that what we understand the ones are over there," Bill Stoermer, Quad Cities Power Plant.

And at Dresden, reporters got to watch as the state staged an emergency drill for the plant....staged ten miles from the plant.

"We want to get as close to the plant as possible but not interfere or get into the emergency planning zone within 10 miles," Joseph Klinger of IL Emergency Management Agency.

Exelon officialssay improvments made to Dresden make it safer, including vents and backup generators to prevent explosions and losses of cooling water, problems that crippled the Japanese plant.

On Friday, the safety of Illinois' nuclear reactors also is the focus of a forum hosted by Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk.

" The are some situations in our state which, I think, bear close scrutiny," Senator Dick Durbin, (D) IL.

Durbin specifically has questions about the now closed Zion Nuclear plant..where still radioactive fuel rods are stored 100 yards from Lake Michigan.

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