Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Guest, B. Ross||Kouba, Leonard J.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Geography


Commonwealth Edison Company; Nuclear power plants--Illinois--LaSalle County; Nuclear power plants--Illinois--LaSalle County--Design and construction; Environmental impact analysis--Illinois--LaSalle County; Land use; Rural--Illinois--LaSalle County


INTRODUCTION: On August 13, 1971, the Illinois Commerce Commission authorized Commonwealth Edison Company to construct, operate, and maintain a 2,200 mw (megawatt) generating plant known as the LaSalle County Station. This station is presently located in Brookfield Township, LaSalle County, Illinois. The company was also authorized to construct a cooling lake with sufficient capacity for two additional 1,500 mw generating units, which are planned for the near future. The authorization by the Commission caused local residents and other interest groups to oppose the project. It was not the presence of a nuclear power plant within Brookfield Township which was objected to, but the extent of area needed for the power plant and its cooling lake. A series of court hearings were held subsequent to the Illinois Commerce Commission ruling, resulting in a compromise agreement between Commonwealth Edison Company and the opposition group in June, 1973. Approval was given to construct a plant, but it is to have a smaller generating capacity and cooling lake. The plans included 4,500 acres with the water coming from the Illinois River. The size of the lake is now to be reduced to an area of 2,190 acres. Unfortunately, although reduced in capacity and size, the station and cooling lake are to be built on prime agricultural land. Originally, Edison proposed to develop the LaSalle County Station with an initial installation of two 1,100 mw nuclear-fueled electric generating units. The projected on-line service date for the first unit was 1976, and the second was to start operation in 1977. Later during the 1980s, Edison had planned to install two additional generating units of 1,500 mw each at this station. These plans have now been dropped with the present plant limited to the original two units going into service in 1979. The decision by Edison to use nuclear power in the generation of electricity at the LaSalle County Station was based on the findings that a nuclear plant was superior to a fossil fuel plant both from an environmental standpoint and cost of power generated.


Includes bibliographical references.||Includes maps.


64 pages




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