The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said on January 27 that it had approved the applications for license renewal submitted by Exelon Corp. for Units 1 and 2 of the Braidwood Generating Station in Braceville, Ill.

Braidwood, the state’s largest nuclear plant, was originally built by Commonwealth Edison. The two-unit plant operates two Westinghouse pressurized water reactors with a total net capacity of 2,453 MW. Unit 1 was originally licensed in 1986 and Unit 2 in 1987. The 20-year license extensions mean the reactors can continue operating through 2046 and 2047, respectively. The NRC approved a 1.63% uprate for the plant in 2014.

Though several of Exelon’s reactors in Illinois have faced financial pressures, and the company has warned it could be forced to shut some of them down, Braidwood has remained competitive because of its proximity to the large Chicago market, meaning it pays much lower congestion fees to move its electricity than the at-risk plants.

—Thomas W. Overton, JD is a POWER associate editor (@thomas_overton, @POWERmagazine).