We are looking for opportunities to reduce waste streams and increase recycling at our current operations. We are safely and securely managing spent nuclear fuel and low-level radioactive wastes. Exelon is also committed to continued work to properly address legacy issues, such as remediation of manufactured gas plants (MGP) that produced gas for lighting and cooking many decades ago.
We will continue to work with regulators and communities to achieve positive program results.
Greening Our Operations
- Leader in Waste Management
Constellation has won seven EPA WasteWise awards since joining as a charter partner in 1994.
- Inducted into the WasteWise Hall of Fame in 2006
- Maintains a coal ash re-use rate of 60% or more
- Active recycling programs at 85% of their facilities
- NRC licensed on-site storage for spent fuel at Calvert Cliffs and Ginna Nuclear Sites
As part of our business and environmental strategy, we are committed to “Greening our Operations” in order to minimize the impact we have on the environment.
As shown in the charts below, Exelon and Constellation recycled nearly 32,000 tons of office waste, scrap metal, electronic waste, wood and oil in 2011. Both companies are continually seeking opportunities to minimize the waste generated, such as ComEd's innovative re-processing of transformer oil to remove all contaminants, returning it to ASTM specifications and allowing it to be reused in transformers. More information about Exelon and Constellation's waste management programs can be found in Exelon Corporations 2011 Sustinability Report (PDF, 4.1 MB) under the Reducing Waste section.
Coal Combustion Product Reuse
Exelon has always sought to maximize beneficial reuse of the byproducts of coal combustion (fly ash, bottom ash, basin ash and flue gas desulfurization products) at the coal-fired power plants that we operate. As shown in the chart below, in 2011 both Exelon and Constellation continued to foster responsible reuse of these byproducts in a variety of commercial products.
- Nuclear Transportation
- Exelon only uses established leaders in the transportation industry that are dedicated primarily to handling the needs of the nuclear industry. These companies have been transporting LLRW safely for more than 25 years without a significant accident or release of materials. DOE’s Motor Carrier Evaluation Program has approved these companies.
Learn more about Exelon’s commitment to safety.
Exelon-operated coal units do not store coal ash or related combustion byproducts on-site. However, the Keystone and Conemaugh plants (both partially co-owned by Exelon Generation and formerly Constellation) use on-site landfills for ash disposal. These landfills receive and dispose of coal ash in a dry state and are maintained according to all local, state and federal regulatory guidelines.
In 2011, two of the coal-fired units operated by Exelon Power retired, with the third remaining coal-fired unit retiring in May 2012. In addition, three coal-fired units owned by Constellation are also to be divested in 2012 as part of the Exelon-Constellation merger settlement. Therefore, Exelon's generation of coal combustion by-products will be greatly reduced after 2012.
Safe Storage for Spent Nuclear Fuel
Exelon Nuclear continues to store spent nuclear fuel (SNF) safely at its plants—both in water-filled pools and in dry-cask storage systems.
Using this combination of storage methods, Exelon Generation is capable of meeting all of its SNF storage requirements for many decades – through the end of the license renewal period and decommissioning, and until the U.S. Department of Energy completes its removal of SNF from the nation’s nuclear sites. Because Exelon Generation’s SNF storage pools generally do not have sufficient storage capacity for the life of the respective plant, Exelon Generation will continue to develop sufficient dry cask facilities to support its storage needs. Exelon Nuclear continues to store spent nuclear fuel (SNF) safely at its plants—both in water-filled pools and in dry-cask storage systems.
Managing Legacy Environmental Issues
For more detailed discussion of Exelon’s remediation activities, please see Exelon’s 2011 Form 10-K, Part I, Item 1 “Environmental Regulation” section.
Exelon remains on track to voluntarily eliminate power plant and substation equipment known to contain polychlorinated biphenyls with concentrations greater than 50 parts per million from its power plants and substations by year-end 2012.
Manufactured Gas Plants
ComEd and PECO continue to remediate and close former manufactured-gas plant sites that were utilized — primarily by predecessor companies in Illinois and Pennsylvania between 1850 and the 1950s — to manufacture gas for lighting and other purposes. ComEd and PECO anticipate that the majority of remediation at remaining sites will continue through at least 2019 and 2021, respectively.
Exelon has set a goal of zero land related Notices of Violation (NOV) and Permit Non-compliances for company operations. NOVs are issued by regulatory agencies when a company is believed to have violated a permit condition or regulatory requirement. Exelon self-reports violations of regulations and regulatory agency-specified environmental permit conditions when they are identified. In 2011, Exelon had three land related NOVs, and Constellation has one land related NOV. Please see the Exelon Corporation 2011 Sustainability Report (PDF, 4.1 MB) for additional information on our compliance performance.