MORRIS, Ill. (Nov. 26, 2010) - Operators at Exelon Nuclear's Dresden Generating Station returned Unit 3 to the electrical grid at 3:36 p.m. today, safely completing a planned refueling and maintenance outage that began on Oct. 31.
"We completed a tremendous amount of work during the outage that will help ensure the safe and reliable production of carbon-free electricity during the unit's next two-year operating cycle and beyond," said Tim Hanley, Dresden site vice president. "Congratulations to the Dresden team and our partners for their performance and for their commitment to quality and safety."
In addition to replacing about one-third of the reactor's fuel, workers performed more than 9,000 inspections and maintenance activities on a variety of plant components and systems that cannot be done while the unit is operating. They also completed several major plant modifications to enhance Unit 3's reliability, including installing new electrical windings in the main generator and replacing the unit's main power transformer.
During the outage, the station employed the talents and expertise of approximately 1,500 additional skilled workers. About 1,000 of these supplemental employees were from local union halls. Approximately 500 came from nearby Exelon Nuclear sites or are specialty vendors who travelled to the area for the outage.
In addition, Dresden spent approximately $3 million with local vendors from Grundy, Will and other nearby counties on rental equipment, construction contractors and specialty services to support the outage.
Dresden Unit 2 continued to supply electricity to the area while Unit 3 was offline.
Dresden Generating Station is approximately 60 miles southwest of Chicago. The station's two operating units can produce more than 1,700 megawatts net of electricity, enough to power more than 1.5 million average homes. Dresden Unit 1, which began commercial operation in 1960 and was retired in 1978, has been designated a Nuclear Historic Landmark by the American Nuclear Society.