Zion 1 and 2

Basic Facts:

  • Location: Zion, Illinois
  • Owner: Exelon Corporation
  • Total Construction Cost: $3.3B (2018$)
  • Total Plant Output: 2,080 MW (combined)
  • Property Size: 330 acres
  • Status: Decommissioning
  • Current DTF Balance: $96M (2018$)
  • Decommissioning Cost Estimate: $85M (2018$)
  • Spent Nuclear Fuel on Site: 1,019 metric tons
Zion Photo


Zion 1 and 2 was a dual-unit pressurized water reactor facility that produced 2,080 MW of electricity. The plant began construction in 1968 and in 1976 the NRC authorized Zion to operate at full power. In 1998 the plant owners permanently retired Units 1 and 2 as the cost of needed repairs would be uneconomical given the expiration of the plant’s operating license in 2013.


In 2010, the NRC approved the transfer of Exelon’s NRC license to Energy Solutions, the decommissioning contractor. In 2015, spent nuclear fuel was transferred to on site dry storage and decommissioning is expected to be complete in 2020.


Zion is located in Lake County, Illinois. As of 2016:

  • Population: 700,000
  • Per Capita Annual Income: $73,000
  • Unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted): 4.4%

While in operation the plant contributed approximately $20M annually in property taxes to the City of Zion, representing over 50% of the local tax base. Following the plant’s closure in 1998, the facility now generates approximately $500,000 in annual tax payments.

Contact Information

Economic Development Administration Representative:

University Center

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Unless specific costing information has been provided, decommissioning costs were derived from 2017 Decommissioning Funding Status Report.
Information herein obtained from public sources. Corrections are welcome and may be directed to [email protected].

Additional Information

Former Zion NPP site released for unrestricted use

November 19, 2023

Former Zion NPP site released for unrestricted useThe US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has released for “unrestricted use” most of the land on and around the area where the Zion Nuclear Power Station once operated. This means that any residual radiation is below…

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November 14, 2022

Nuclear communities sidelined in just transition debate | Energy News Network Every morning, the Energy News Network compiles the top stories about the clean energy transition and delivers them to your inbox for free. Sign up today! The nuclear plant on the shore of Lake Michigan in Zion, Illinois, opened a few years before Al […]

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’Still reeling’ from shuttered nuclear site, Zion receives enterprise zone status for state redevelopment incentives

September 3, 2019
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Federal bill would help Wiscasset with stranded nuclear waste

July 14, 2019
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Illinois House bill seeks more updates on closed nuclear facilities, including lakefront plant in Zion

January 28, 2019
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When the nuclear era ends: Struggling Zion, Ill., a lesson for Lacey Township

December 19, 2018
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Zion’s effort to shed lakefront nuclear waste backed by U.S. House vote

December 19, 2018
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