MORRIS, Ill. (Nov. 11, 2011) - Operators at Exelon Nuclear's Dresden Generating Station returned Unit 2 to the electrical grid at 8:13 a.m. today, safely completing a planned refueling outage that began Monday, Oct. 17.
"We did a lot of work during the outage that will help ensure the safe and reliable production of 100% carbon-free electricity during Unit 2's next two-year operating cycle," said David Czufin, Dresden site vice president. "Congratulations and thanks to the Dresden team and our partners for their performance during the outage and for their commitment to safety and quality."
In addition to replacing about one-third of the reactor's fuel, workers performed more than 4,000 inspections and maintenance activities on plant components and systems that could not be done while the unit was operating. They also completed several major plant modifications that will allow Unit 2 to produce cleaner, safer and more affordable energy, including using state-of-the-art technology to install new low-pressure turbine rotors and replacing and refurbishing various pumps, valves, motors and instrumentation.
"We want to thank our neighbors for their patience during the outage, as traffic congestion may have affected travel times in the area," added Czufin.
During the outage, the station employed the talents and expertise of approximately 1,600 additional skilled workers. About 1,000 of these supplemental employees were from local union halls. Approximately 600 came from nearby Exelon Nuclear sites or are specialty vendors who travelled to the area for the outage. While working at Dresden, these additional workers contributed to the local economy by staying at area hotels, eating at nearby restaurants and visiting other local businesses.
Dresden Unit 3 continued to supply electricity to the area while Unit 2 was 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, enough to power more than 1.5 million average homes. 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.