Skip to main content

Frequently Asked Questions


Division of ​Nuclear Safety

Where was the first man-made nuclear reactor located?

When was it first taken "critical" (self-sustaining chain reaction)? The first man-made self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction was initiated in Chicago Pile 1 (CP-1) on 2 December 1942, under the supervision of Enrico Fermi, at the University of Chicago.

How many nuclear power plants are currently operating in Illinois?

There are currently 11 nuclear reactors operating at nuclear power plants in Illinois.

How many reactors have operated in Illinois?

There are currently three power reactors undergoing decommissioning in Illinois; Dresden 1, Zion 1 and Zion 2. There have been 14 reactors designed and operated in Illinois at Argonne National Laboratory (East). In addition a research reactor was operated at the University of Illinois in Champaign. None of these reactors are currently in operation.

How many Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) Casks are there in Illinois?

There are approximately 200 Dry Casks loaded with spent fuel in Illinois.

How much of Illinois' electricity comes from nuclear power?

48% (Nuclear Energy Institute)

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

How do I submit a records request to IEMA under the Freedom of Information Act?

A FOIA request may be submitted to IEMA via any of the following three methods:

  1. By completing the Online FOIA request form​​ and then clicking the "Submit Request" button.
  2. By printing out the FOIA request form, filling it out, and mailing it to the following address:
FOIA Officer, Legal Office
1035 Outer Park Drive
Springfield, IL 62704
  1. By printing out the FOIA request form, filling it out, and faxing it to the FOIA Officer at (217) 524-3698.

Public Assistance (PA) Program

Where does Public Assistance Program funding come from?

PA funding is Federal disaster assistance that is granted to the State of Illinois and then subgranted to organizations in Illinois for eligible damages and costs, as a result of an emergency or major disaster declaration made by the President. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) is the Grantee of the PA funding in Illinois and works with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to administer the program.

Who can apply for PA funding?

States, local units of government and certain private non-profit organizations that provide services of a governmental nature may apply for PA funding. No funding is available for individuals, households or businesses under PA.

How does an organization apply for PA funding?

FEMA Form 90-49, Request for Public Assistance, must be completed and submitted to IEMA within 30 days of the date a declaration is made by the President. The organization must also complete and submit an IEMA Public Assistance Grant Agreement to IEMA before any payment is made.

What type of damages and costs are eligible for reimbursement under the Public Assistance Program?

Funding may be provided for debris removal, emergency protective measures and the restoration of public facilities (roadway systems, water control facilities, buildings/equipment, utilities, and parks/recreational facilities).

Who determines what damages and costs are eligible for reimbursement?

FEMA, as the Grantor Agency, determines what damages and costs are eligible and prepares Project Worksheets (PWs), also known as Subgrant Applications (SGAs), to document the work to be completed and the cost to complete that work. FEMA works directly with applicants to prepare PWs/SGAs.

Does an organization get paid for 100% of their costs?

PA funding will be provided for at least 75% of the damages and costs determined eligible by FEMA. This 75% is called the Federal share. Applicant organizations are responsible to provide the 25% non-Federal matching funds for their projects. In some cases, credit may be provided towards the non-Federal share for volunteer resources used to complete debris removal and emergency protective measures.

Who makes the payments to the applicants?

IEMA, as the Grantee, draws down funding from a letter of credit and provides the funding to applicants for damages and costs determined eligible by FEMA. State of Illinois warrants (checks) are issued by the Illinois Office of the Comptroller to make the payments. PA funding is considered to be Federal funding, even though the State processes the payments.

How long does an organization have to complete eligible work?

An applicant has six (6) months from the declaration date to complete debris removal and emergency protective measures work. An applicant has 18 months to complete permanent restoration/repair work on eligible facilities.

How does an organization close their PA grant?

Applicants must complete and submit a Subgrant Closeout Certification form to request the closeout of their grant. IEMA will review this request and the applicant’s grant file, and if all is in order, close the grant and notify the applicant of the closure.

Since PA funding is Federal funding, does an audit have to be completed?

Non-Federal organizations that expend $750,000 or more in total Federal assistance during their fiscal year must have an audit completed in accordance with the Single Audit Act and 2 CFR, Part 200, Subpart F.

How do I find out more information about the Public Assistance Program?

For more information, go to the IEMA website at, or contact the PA staff at (217) 782-8719 or

How Do I?