Oct 24, 2012

Wisconsin Kewaunee nuclear plant to shut down in the spring

Herald Times Reporter | Dominion Resources Inc. said Monday it will shut down the one-reactor power plant on the shore of Lake Michigan in the spring because it could not sell it and cannot operate it profitably.

“The biggest factor is the market price of power,” said Daniel Stoddard, senior vice president of nuclear operations at Dominion.

The closing will have a wide-ranging impact, hurting workers who will lose high-paying jobs and the Northeastern Wisconsin and Kewaunee County economies, and possibly affecting Wisconsin Public Service Corp. customers. The Kewaunee Power Station provides about 20 percent of WPS’s electricity.

“Over the last 18 months, we have worked very hard to find a buyer for Kewaunee,” Stoddard said. “Our view right now is this is a permanent decision.”

Stoddard said Dominion will honor its contracts to sell electricity through December 2013, when they expire. The plant began operation in 1974.

Kewaunee Power Plant employees learned of the decision Monday morning.

State resources will be available to displaced workers, said Jim Golembeski, executive director of Bay Area Workforce Development Board. “The good thing is, we have some time here. I don’t think anybody needs to panic at this time,” he said.

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