Clean Air Benefits
Byron Generating Station produces enough electricity to power more than two million homes without producing greenhouse gas emissions. The illustration below shows the amount of carbon dioxide that is produced per hour by different electricity sources similar in size to Byron Generating Station.
Byron and all U.S. nuclear energy plants are required by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to maintain an environmental monitoring program to ensure that radiation levels around the facilities are not above naturally occurring levels. Byron monitors the air, water, sediment and food products (milk and crops) extensively around the facility.
Byron’s groundwater monitoring plan includes quarterly sampling of 15 on-site monitoring wells designed to detect unusual levels of radiation in the environment. Byron also routinely tests all water leaving the site.
Optically Stimulated Luminescent Dosimeters (OSLDs) are staged at 40 locations around Byron to monitor the air. OSLDs measure ionizing radiation exposure. The OSLDs are collected on a quarterly basis and are analyzed by an independent lab for ambient gamma radiation. Each location has two OSLDs with additional OSLDs placed in locations of special interest to monitor any potential radiation exposure from the site.
The NRC conducts periodic on-site inspections of each licensed plant’s environmental monitoring program to ensure compliance with NRC regulations.