BRACEVILLE, Ill. (April 9, 2018) — Operators at Exelon Generation’s Braidwood Station removed Unit 1 from service early Monday morning, beginning a planned refueling outage at the nuclear energy plant that will bring more than 1,600 additional workers to the region. A host of maintenance activities, inspections and upgrades completed during the annual refueling outage will help Braidwood deliver zero-emission, reliable electricity to Illinois customers for the next 18-month operating cycle.
During this year’s outage, technicians will be installing two new main power transformers on Unit 1. These massive, state-of-the-art electrical components help carry the plant’s outbound electricity efficiently on high-voltage power lines.
“We invest heavily in equipment maintenance and upgrades every year to ensure Braidwood Station continues to operate at world-class levels of safety and operational excellence,” said Braidwood Site Vice President Marri Marchionda-Palmer. “The work completed during this outage will help ensure we’re online during the peak summer months ahead, when consumers need us most.”
Electricians, pipe fitters, welders, carpenters, laborers and other trades people are onsite to perform thousands of inspections, tests, maintenance activities, equipment upgrades and modifications that cannot be done while the unit is online, including replacing nearly one-third of the reactor’s fuel.
“The Exelon refueling outages put a lot of people to work in Illinois, providing jobs for thousands of skilled local and regional union and tradespeople,” said William Meyers, International Representative for the United Association of Journeyman and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry. “Exelon’s 11 reactors at six nuclear power plants in Illinois not only generate clean, reliable electricity, but they power the Illinois economy by employing our state’s highly skilled workers.”
“During Braidwood’s outages, we see a lot of additional people passing through town, frequenting local establishments and spending money for several weeks before and during refueling outages,” said Christopher Osterfund, President of the Braidwood Chamber of Commerce. “It’s a real shot in the arm for the community.”
Braidwood’s Unit 2 will keep supplying the region with carbon-free electricity during the Unit 1 outage.
Braidwood Station is located 20 miles southwest of Joliet and has been producing carbon-free electricity for more than two million residents and businesses since 1988. Nearly half of Illinois’ electricity and more than 90 percent of Illinois’ carbon-free power is supplied by Exelon Generation’s nuclear power stations.