BYRON, Ill. (September 19, 2011) - Byron Generating Station's busy year of job creation continues this month as its Unit 2 refueling and maintenance outage began at 11 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 18.
More than 1,200 additional workers have descended on the region to assist in the project - many of whom are from local union halls. More than $2 million is being spent with local vendors in support of the outage. Combined with the numbers from the completed spring outage, Byron Station has created nearly 4,000 temporary jobs and spent more than $5 million with local vendors in 2011 on its two outages.
"As the economy continues to try to rebound, we are happy that so many individuals can find temporary work at our station during our refueling outage," said Byron Station Site Vice President Tim Tulon. "We rely on the extra assistance to perform important maintenance on our unit that will ensure continued reliable performance. And the temporary employees get weeks or months of steady employment. It is a positive outcome for all involved."
Residents should be aware of the increased traffic in towns near the plant, which is a welcome challenge to have for those looking for an economic boost. Most local motels, restaurants and shops see an increase in customers during Byron Station outages.
"We recognize that the increase in traffic during the outage will cause delays for some. We appreciate everyone's patience during this time," added Tulon.
In addition to replacing about one-third of the reactor's fuel, workers will perform more than 10,000 inspections and maintenance activities on a variety of plant components and systems. Many of the activities performed during the maintenance outage cannot be done while the unit is operating.
While the unit is down, residents should be aware that one of the cooling towers will not produce any water vapor cloud. This is normal during a shutdown. Byron's Unit 1 will continue to supply clean electricity to Exelon customers during the Unit 2 outage. With both units at full power, the site produces almost 2,300 megawatts net, enough electricity for 2.3 million homes.