Exelon Quad-Cities Generating Station

Exelon employees leave the Quad-Cities nuclear plant near Cordova earlier this year.

Kevin E. Schmidt, QUAD-CITY TIMES

Exelon said Wednesday that it formally notified the Nuclear Regulatory Commission earlier this week that it plans to close its nuclear facilities in the Quad-Cities and Clinton.

The notification follows the company’s announcement three weeks ago that it plans to close the two money-losing plants.

The Clinton, Ill., plant would close in 2017 and the Quad-Cities in 2018, the company said.

“We worked for two years to find a solution, but now it is time to take the necessary steps to retire the plants,” Exelon president and CEO Chris Crane said in a statement.

Exelon said the notification, which was required within 30 days of its initial announcement, is the first of several procedural steps it will take in the coming months to inform federal and state agencies of the closure plans.

Exelon has said that its lost a combined $800 million at the two plants over the last seven years. The company is pushing legislation in Springfield that would help shore up the finances of its nuclear facilities, but lawmakers adjourned the spring session without acting.

Exelon officials say existing government energy policies put the nuclear industry at a disadvantage, and they say their legislation would even the playing field. Critics, however, say that Exelon is a profitable company that is just looking for a bailout.

Quad-City economic development officials have said they believe there still is time for the legislature to act yet this year to stave off closure of the Cordova plant. However, the notification is reminder the clock is ticking. Exelon employs 800 people at the Quad-Cities plant.