MORRIS, Ill. (Nov. 2, 2009) - Operators safely took Dresden Generating Station Unit 2 offline at 1:00 a.m. today to begin a scheduled refueling and maintenance outage.
Since its last refueling outage in 2007, Unit 2 has operated at an average capacity factor of 98.7 percent. Capacity factor measures reliability by comparing the electricity produced to what the unit would produce operating continuously at full power.
"Safety and quality are the keys to a successful outage," said Tim Hanley, Dresden site vice president. Safety is always our top priority, and quality is essential to ensure operating reliability through the unit's next two-year fuel cycle and beyond."
During the maintenance outage, workers will perform more than 9,000 inspections and maintenance activities on a variety of plant components and systems. This includes replacing about one-third of the reactor's fuel. Many of the activities performed during the maintenance outage cannot be done while the unit is operating.
The station will also complete several major plant modifications during this outage that will enhance Unit 2's reliability. These upgrades include installing new electrical windings in the main generator and replacing the unit's main power transformers. Transformers raise the voltage of the electricity that is generated before it is sent to the electrical grid.
To support this effort, the station will utilize the talents and expertise of approximately 1,600 additional workers. These men and women are skilled workers from other Exelon sites, local union halls, travelers from outside the area and specialized vendors. They all provide a benefit to the economy, as they stay at area hotels and eat at local restaurants.
Dresden Unit 3 will continue to supply electricity to the area while Unit 2 is 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 per hour.
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.