BYRON, Ill. - Operators at Byron Generating Station took the Unit 1 turbine generator offline at 3:21 p.m. for planned upgrades taking place this weekend in the facility's switchyard. The Unit 1 reactor will remain at reduced power during this activity.
"We are taking the proactive step to replace insulators in the switchyard to ensure our equipment meets the highest standards," said Tim Tulon, Byron Station site vice president. "Our top priority is the safe operation of our facility and the decision to reinforce our levels of redundant safety features is indicative of this commitment."
Crews will be replacing insulators similar to the ones that failed at the plant in January and February. Technical experts determined that the ceramic insulator failures were due to tiny spaces created in the ceramic material during the manufacturing process. An insulator is a piece of structural equipment. The insulator replacement project cannot be performed while the generator is operating.
Byron Unit 2 will continue to supply electricity to the area while the Unit 1 turbine is offline. The water vapor from one of the cooling towers may be minimal due to the unit operating a reduced power.
Byron Generating Station is in Ogle County, Ill., about 25 miles southwest of Rockford.