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LaSalle, Zion remain closed

Issue 7 and Volume 101.

LaSalle, Zionremain closed

Commonwealth Edison Co. (ComEd) announced that its LaSalle Nuclear Power Station will remain closed at least until 1998, several months longer than planned. ComEd has also announced plans to close its Zion Nuclear Power Station permanently by 2005. Zion is currently shut down due to physical and personnel problems. ComEd is working with regulators in an attempt to work out a plan to get its reactors back on line. ComEd has been criticized for many years for “cyclic performance,” but in January, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) put three of ComEd`s six plants on a watch list, giving ComEd 60 days to prove its competency to run its stations. The company has committed to expenditures to raise its standards.

In recent simulator tests, 19 of 63 ComEd operators were found unqualified to return to their jobs, a statistic that may cause the utility problems in convincing the NRC to give approval to reopen all the plants.

ComEd budgeted $160 million to upgrade LaSalle after its shut down last September. The utility planned to have the twin-reactor plant running this fall. But ComEd