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Report for America is a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues and communities.

Illinois AFL-CIO Calls For Legislators To Save Nuclear Plants

Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco

A federation of Illinois labor unions says closing the Byron and Dresden nuclear stations would devastate workers and communities in the state.




An updated report issued by the Brattle Group for the Illinois AFL-CIO says the closures would cost the region thousands of jobs and millions of dollars. Pat Devaney is the treasurer for the organization.



“You're talking about 1500 full-time employees got a good paying job, and also a couple thousand supplemental workers that are brought in, during maintenance, outages and refueling,” Devaney said.


InAugust, Exelon announced plans to close the two facilities this coming fall. It cited declining energy prices and market rules that affected profitability. 


Devaney said other findings include a direct impact to regional sales and tax revenue. And, he said, should the plants close, Illinois residents and businesses can expect to pay $313 million more annually for electricity. 

  • Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco is a current corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project which is a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms.
Juanpablo covers environmental, substandard housing and police-community relations. He’s been a bilingual facilitator at the StoryCorps office in Chicago. As a civic reporting fellow at City Bureau, a non-profit news organization that focuses on Chicago’s South Side, Ramirez-Franco produced print and audio stories about the Pilsen neighborhood. Before that, he was a production intern at the Third Coast International Audio Festival and the rural America editorial intern at In These Times magazine. Ramirez-Franco grew up in northern Illinois. He is a graduate of Knox College.