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LaSalle Station Refuel Outage Begins Today

New technology enhances worker safety


Marseilles, Ill.- LaSalle County Generating Station employees will work side by side with a robot that provides additional monitoring support to workers for the first time in station history during its Unit 1 refueling outage that began today.
The robot will allow workers and supervisors to see and talk to one another through monitors from anywhere in the plant, providing an additional layer of safety for employees performing work tasks.

Keeping workers safe is the number one priority, so LaSalle Station Site Vice President Pete Karaba is excited to use this technology during the refuel outage and beyond.

"With hundreds of workers and local supplemental workers onsite during the refuel outage, we can apply technology that people use in everyday life to help supervisors be in more than one location while providing immediate communication to workers on the job site. 

"This additional monitoring is another way we are keeping safety at the forefront of our operations," said Karaba.

Through the use of this new technology, station technical engineers are also able to connect real-time with industry experts about plant equipment.
"Before this technology, we would have to email still pictures or bring a vendor to LaSalle Station to look at a part or component," said Radiation Protection Operational Manager Rachael Conley. "Now, we can send the robot into the plant and speak directly to a vendor to get answers instantly."
LaSalle has two reactors, each of which is refueled once every 24 months. One-third of the unit's fuel will be replaced and more than 9,500 comprehensive maintenance and testing activities will be performed. LaSalle Unit 2 will continue to generate electricity during the Unit 1 outage.
LaSalle Station is about 75 miles southwest of Chicago near Marseilles, Ill. At full power, the facility's two generating units produce more than 2,200 megawatts of carbon free electricity, enough to power 2.3 million typical American homes.