Clean Air Benefits
Braidwood Generating Station produces enough electricity to power 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 Braidwood Generating Station.
Braidwood and all U.S. nuclear energy plants are required by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to maintain radiological environmental monitoring program to ensure that offsite radiation levels around the facilities are safe. As part of this program, Braidwood monitors air, water, soil and food products (milk and crops) extensively around the facility.
In addition, Braidwood has a separate onsite groundwater protection program for monitoring and detecting the presence of radioactivity in groundwater before it has the chance to migrate offsite. This program includes sampling at least quarterly of 19 on-site monitoring wells designed to detect unusual levels of radiation in the groundwater. Braidwood also routinely tests all water leaving the site.
Thermoluminescent Dosimeters (TLDs) are staged at 40 stations located in the 10-mile radius around Braidwood to monitor radiation dose levels from ionizing radiation, such as gamma radiation, in the ambient environment. TLDs are detectors that measure ionizing radiation exposure. The TLDs are collected on a quarterly basis and are analyzed by an independent lab. Each station around Braidwood has two TLDs with each TLD containing three detection crystals, for a total of six independent radiation measurement points at each location.
The NRC conducts periodic inspections of each licensed plant’s radiological environmental monitoring program and groundwater protection program to ensure compliance with NRC regulations.