Illinois Senator Mike Hastings let Braidwood know early where he stood on nuclear power. "My grandpa was an iron worker and he helped build this place," Hastings said with pride upon his arrival to site Tuesday.
Illinois' new Energy Committee Chairman then proceeded to show his support for Braidwood Station, Exelon and the nuclear power industry on his tour of the site, saying he recognizes the economic and environmental value the plant provides the region.
The senator was joined on the tour by his his father Kyle Hastings, who is the mayor of Orland Hills, along with representatives from organized labor and Exelon Government Affairs.
Braidwood Plant Manager Amy Ferko provided the senator a high level overview of Exelon, how the site produces electricity and the station's role in the community. The tour group then visited the plant's Main Control Room, Technical Support Center and Diesel Generator inside the PA.
It was Senator Hastings' first nuclear power plant tour, and he said it was part of effort to educate himself as he takes on chairmanship of the energy committee.
The station also presented Senator Hastings with a set of Committed to Excellence challenge coins at the luncheon.
A few facts about Senator Hastings:
- His grandfather did work at Braidwood in the 1970s during construction.
- He grew up in Orland Township, went to high school in Tinley Park and was an All-State football player.
- Senator Hastings attended West Point where he earned his bachelor's while playing all four year for Army's Division-1 football team.
- After graduating, Senator Hastings served his country overseas in Iraq, advancing to rank of captain in the 1st Infantry Division. He earned the Bronze Star during his deployment.
- The senator began his public service career with his election to the Board of Trustees for High School District 230 and served as board VP
- He has a master’s degree in business administration from University of Illinois and is working to complete his legal degree from John Marshal Law School in Chicago
- Senator Hastings was elected State Senator in 2012
- His district includes all or parts of Lockport, New Lenox, Mokena, Orland Park, Tinley Park, Frankfort, Frankfort Square, Homer Glen, Joliet, Richton Park, University Park, Matteson, Homewood, Flossmoor, Park Forest, Olympia Fields, Country Club Hills, Hazel Crest, Markham, and Oak Forest.