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Limerick Generating Station Refueling Outage and COVID-19 Response Overview


Limerick Generating Station's Unit 1 Refueling Outage is Complete:

 

Limerick Generating station completed its 2020 spring refueling outage on April 13, and Unit 1 is now refueled and ready to power more than a million homes and businesses with carbon free energy for another two years. The outage was executed in 16 days, a full two weeks faster than the U.S. average and a station record. We want to thank the skilled professionals who completed the required work safely and efficiently under these difficult circumstances and the community for their support during this time.

The Limerick plant recorded only two confirmed cases of COVID-19 during the outage, and these workers are currently resting at home. During the outage, we worked closely with local, county and state officials, sharing daily information, and updating this website with current cases and number of workers in quarantine. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions…

 

 

Busses that transport outage workers are required to social distance by taking every other seat in a checkerboard fashion. Workers are told at the end of each shift to obey all “Stay at Home” orders and to social distance off-shift.https://www.exeloncorp.com/locations/PublishingImages/Limerick Refueling Outage March 2020/COVID_LGS_9.jpgBusses that transport outage workers are required to social distance by taking every other seat in a checkerboard fashion. Workers are told at the end of each shift to obey all “Stay at Home” orders and to social distance off-shift.
Workers receive communication each shift to practice proper hygiene and social distancing. Everyone involved in the outage is told to STAY HOME if they are sick or to contact OHS if they have been in direct contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19.https://www.exeloncorp.com/locations/PublishingImages/Limerick Refueling Outage March 2020/COVID_LGS_12.jpgWorkers receive communication each shift to practice proper hygiene and social distancing. Everyone involved in the outage is told to STAY HOME if they are sick or to contact OHS if they have been in direct contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19.
Trailers added onsite to help spread people outhttps://www.exeloncorp.com/locations/PublishingImages/Limerick Refueling Outage March 2020/IMG_1393.jpgTrailers added onsite to help spread people out
Door schucked open to avoid touching the surfaceshttps://www.exeloncorp.com/locations/PublishingImages/Limerick Refueling Outage March 2020/IMG_1395.jpgDoor schucked open to avoid touching the surfaces
Workers stand on yellow dots spaced 6-feet apart leading up to the Main Access Facility.https://www.exeloncorp.com/locations/PublishingImages/Limerick Refueling Outage March 2020/COVID_LGS_10.jpgWorkers stand on yellow dots spaced 6-feet apart leading up to the Main Access Facility.
Electrostatic disinfecting and foggers are used throughout the plant, including bins in the Main Access Facility.https://www.exeloncorp.com/locations/PublishingImages/Limerick Refueling Outage March 2020/COVID_LGS_3.jpgElectrostatic disinfecting and foggers are used throughout the plant, including bins in the Main Access Facility.
Portable handwashing stations have been placed throughout the plant along with hand sanitizer at entries and elevators.https://www.exeloncorp.com/locations/PublishingImages/Limerick Refueling Outage March 2020/COVID_LGS_4.jpgPortable handwashing stations have been placed throughout the plant along with hand sanitizer at entries and elevators.
Taken from inside the LGS refuel floor. Reactor Engineers are sitting six feet apart and conducting virtual fuel rod inspections.https://www.exeloncorp.com/locations/PublishingImages/Limerick Refueling Outage March 2020/fuel-rod.jpgTaken from inside the LGS refuel floor. Reactor Engineers are sitting six feet apart and conducting virtual fuel rod inspections.
Updates from the field are being done in large areas where there is a lot of space and 6 ft distance.https://www.exeloncorp.com/locations/PublishingImages/Limerick Refueling Outage March 2020/IMG_1382.jpgUpdates from the field are being done in large areas where there is a lot of space and 6 ft distance.
Every worker receives a symptom and body temperature screening *before* entering the plant. Those with 100.4* temp or symptoms consistent with CDC guidelines (cough, body aches, prolonged headache) are NOT allowed inside the plant.https://www.exeloncorp.com/locations/PublishingImages/Limerick Refueling Outage March 2020/temp scanning.jpgEvery worker receives a symptom and body temperature screening *before* entering the plant. Those with 100.4* temp or symptoms consistent with CDC guidelines (cough, body aches, prolonged headache) are NOT allowed inside the plant.
Limerick’s on-site dinning services are open 24 hours a day so workers can be fed on-site to limit community interaction. Tables and chairs have been removed from the cafeteria as “grab-and-go” meals are only offered.https://www.exeloncorp.com/locations/PublishingImages/Limerick Refueling Outage March 2020/COVID_LGS_13.jpgLimerick’s on-site dinning services are open 24 hours a day so workers can be fed on-site to limit community interaction. Tables and chairs have been removed from the cafeteria as “grab-and-go” meals are only offered.

Why was the refueling outage necessary?
Limerick Generating Station’s clean and reliable power is vital to the region’s hospitals and health care facilities; federal, state and local response centers and more than a million homes and essential businesses as they respond to the COVID -19 pandemic. The station’s spring refueling outage was critical to ensuring that power continues to be available to the region as the weather becomes warmer and electricity demand increases. 

Limerick

We put strict procedures in place to keep the public, our employees and contractors safe during the outage, and we shared updates with federal, state and county officials. As part of Limerick’s comprehensive COVID-19 safety precautions, all workers were required to pass a symptom screening and body temperature check prior to entry every shift. We also required social distancing, remote work where possible, frequent hand washing, and increased facility cleaning and disinfection.

The Federal Government and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania consider Exelon Generation and its workers “critical infrastructure” and we are working tirelessly to protect our employees and communities while keeping the lights on for millions of life-sustaining businesses. 

Why not wait?
Limerick Generating Station Unit 1 had to be refueled this spring because, just like your car needs gas, the reactor needed new fuel to keep running. If the plant hadn’t been refueled now, it would have run out of fuel, and we would have been required to shut it down, eliminating a key source of electricity for millions of hospitals, homes and businesses.

The planned work for this outage included required tests and inspections of critical safety systems. These tests and inspections are required by regulatory agencies because of their safety significance and most can only be performed during an outage. We also had to replace critical instruments and systems that have a finite life span. 

Listen to Limerick Generating Station Communications Manager Dave Marcheskie answer questions on the plant’s refueling outage and how they are keeping workers safe during COVID-19:



Addressing Questions About the Limerick Nuclear Plant Refueling Outage:

 

To learn more about how nuclear power is generated, watch our Nuclear 101 Video:
 

How did you keep workers safe and limit the spread of COVID -19 in the local community?
The Limerick plant recorded only two confirmed cases of COVID-19 during the outage, and these workers are currently resting at home. We continue to follow a rigorous pandemic preparedness plan that includes strict governance to prevent and slow the spread of the virus following the outage. Prior to reporting to work, each person is required to complete a pre-entry symptom screening and body temperature check. Anyone with symptoms does not enter the site and is advised to consult with a medical professional. 

We had three nurses on site who staffed Limerick around-the-clock, and we retained three area physicians to consult and evaluate any workers who require assistance. Anyone onsite who felt unwell or exhibited flu-like symptoms was immediately referred to the onsite medical professional for evaluation. To ensure that everyone onsite understood and followed our precautions while working and staying in the area, we provided specific instructions to all outage workers requiring them to:
  • Follow all Montgomery County, Chester County, Berks County, and Philadelphia County “Stay at Home” orders. 
  • Limit off-shift travel to essential paths only; to-and-from work to home or hotel. 
  • Limit all off-site gatherings and abide by current social distancing guidelines as outlined by the CDC. 
  • Utilize Limerick’s on-site cafeteria’s “grab-and-go” meals as often as possible and avoid eating in groups. 
  • Use mobile delivery apps with “no-contact” drop-off options to your hotel. 
  • Sanitize all personal belongings; clothes, phone, keys, credit cards, glasses, shoes, etc. 
Did you share information about confirmed cases?
We provided daily updates to County health officials regarding any confirmed cases of COVID-19, which included the worker’s last day on site, and what we did to notify and isolate any potentially exposed coworkers and disinfect any areas that may have been affected.

Sick, symptomatic or high-risk workers were and are not allowed on site. We continue to go above and beyond CDC guidelines and leveraging technology to prevent the virus from reaching the site and spreading into the community. 

How did you keep contractors safe during the outage?
We did and continue to provide specific instructions to our workers around practicing good hygiene and social distancing. We remind them every shift, every day, to follow all county and state COVID-19 travel and lodging requirements, specifically: 
  • Limiting off-shift travel to home and work whenever possible and avoiding off-site gatherings. 
  • Washing hands frequently while off-duty and sanitizing personal belongings like clothes, cell phones, keys, etc.
We have taken precautions to encourage and enforce social distancing on site. 
  • Wherever employees might congregate, we’ve painted spacing dots on sidewalks and floors to keep workers 6 feet apart. 
  • Wherever possible, we’ve released employees to work from home and staggered shifts to eliminate crowded turnovers.
  • We brought in 20 modular office space trailers and hired around-the-clock monitors who coach and correct workers to enforce our expectations.
  • If there are tasks that can’t be done safely, we stop, implement workarounds, or provide additional personal protective equipment like gowns, face shields and masks. 
All these things together are keeping employees and the public as safe as possible.

Will contractors self-quarantine following the outage?  
We cannot force all outage workers to quarantine for two weeks against their will following the outage. We do not have that authority. Symptomatic and high-risk individuals are already prohibited from entering Limerick. Anyone who developed symptoms during the outage was encouraged to go directly home, seek medical attention and self-quarantine. 

These workers are considered essential by the U.S. government and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, just like first responders, health care workers, and grocery store employees.  These specialized workers perform tasks that are vital to the nation’s power grid, and they must be released to perform similar work at other plants.  

For additional information about Limerick Generating Station’s designation as an essential part of our critical infrastructure, visit these sites:  


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