MORRIS, Ill. (Nov. 1, 2010) - Operators safety took Dresden Generating Station Unit 3 offline at 10 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 31, for a scheduled refueling and maintenance outage.
During the outage, the station will employ the talents and expertise of approximately 1,500 additional workers. About 1,000 of them are skilled workers from local union halls, while others are skilled workers from nearby Exelon Nuclear sites and specialty vendors who travel to the area for the outage.
"The Dresden outage couldn't come at a better time," said Nancy Norton Ammer, CEO of the Grundy County Economic Development Council. "Putting 1,500 people to work helps Grundy County families, from the trades to the local hotels and restaurants. Exelon has an enormous economic impact in Grundy County, and with the outage that impact is even greater. We're lucky to have them in our community."
The station will complete several major plant modifications during this outage that will enhance Unit 3's ability to provide reliable, carbon-free electricity for many years to come. These upgrades include installing new electrical windings in the main generator and replacing the unit's main power transformer. Transformers raise the voltage of the electricity that is generated before it is sent to the electrical grid.
In addition to replacing about one-third of the reactor's fuel, workers will perform more than 9,000 inspections and maintenance activities on a variety of plant components and systems. Many of the activities performed during the maintenance outage cannot be done while the unit is operating.
Dresden is spending approximately $3 million with local vendors from Grundy, Will and other nearby counties on rental equipment, construction contractors and specialty services to support the outage.
Dresden Unit 2 will continue to supply electricity to the area while Unit 3 is offline.
"The Dresden team has been preparing for this outage for more than a year," said Tim Hanley, Dresden site vice president. "It's now time to put our plan into action and safely perform the work necessary to ensure that Unit 3 will run safely and reliably during its next operating cycle."
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. 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.