MORRIS, Ill. (Nov. 3, 2014) -Operators at Dresden Generating Station removed Unit 3 from service this morning for a scheduled refueling and maintenance outage.
Reliable generation from the unit kept air conditioners humming over the summer and helped keep houses warm during the worst of the polar vortex last winter. The precision work completed during the coming weeks will ensure that carbon-free electricity is available to customers when they need it most.
Nearly half of Illinois' electricity is generated at Exelon's six nuclear energy facilities.
More than 1,500 additional workers will join the 900 permanent Dresden Station employees, providing a temporary boost to the local economy. Most local motels, restaurants and shops in eastern Grundy and southern Will Counties see an increase in customers during Dresden Station refueling outages.
"Our businesses see a real increase in activity during Dresden's annual refueling outages," said Grundy County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Caroline Portlock. "The merchants, their employees and the local municipalities all benefit from the influx of additional workers who need local accommodations and buy goods, services and meals throughout the area. We're glad that this work takes place - not only for the boost to the local economy, but to ensure that Dresden will continue to generate electricity cleanly and reliably for many years to come."
"Operating the station safely and reliably is always our top priority and this refueling outage represents Exelon's investment in the safe, reliable operation of the plant," said Shane Marik, Dresden Station Site Vice President. "Our workforce more than doubles during refueling outages with skilled professionals who share our commitment to safety, environmental stewardship and reliability."
Workers at Dresden will perform more than 9,000 inspections, maintenance activities and other work that cannot be done while the unit is operating. This includes replacing about one-third of the unit's fuel. All of the activities are designed to ensure the unit's consistent operation when online.
To learn more about the vital role nuclear plays in supplying electricity to Illinois and the tremendous benefits it provides to families and communities, visit www.nuclearpowersillinois.com.
Dresden Generating Station is approximately 60 miles southwest of Chicago. The station's two nuclear energy units can produce more than 1,900 megawatts at full power - enough carbon-free electricity to power more than 1.2 million typical 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.