BRACEVILLE, ILL. - Operators removed Braidwood Station Unit 1 from service early this morning for a scheduled refueling outage. The outage follows a reliable summer run by Braidwood and Exelon’s entire fleet of 13 nuclear facilities. All operated at better than 95 percent capacity factor during a hotter than average summer season.
The refueling outage will help ensure another 18-month operating cycle for the facility. While the unit is offline, technicians will replace nearly one-third of the reactor’s fuel and perform more than 10,000 inspections and maintenance activities to keep the unit running safely and effectively. Most of this work cannot be performed while the unit is online.
“Braidwood performed exceptionally this summer, running at nearly full capacity despite higher than average temperatures,” said Site Vice President Marri Marchionda-Palmer. “The work completed during the outage will help us continue to provide safe, clean, reliable power for another 18 months, through all types of weather.”
An additional 1,500 skilled workers will supplement the station’s 800 employees this fall, all of whom spend money locally during the weeks-long outage period.
“These outages provide a boost to our city’s economy,” Braidwood Mayor Jim Vehrs said. “Many of the employees work 12-hour shifts, stop in after their shift to eat breakfast or dinner, buy groceries or gas and then head to their hotel room. It’s a great lift to our merchants’ bottom lines.”
Braidwood Station is located approximately 20 miles southwest of Joliet, Ill., and 60 miles southwest of Chicago. The facility has been producing carbon-free electricity since 1988 and is licensed to operate until 2046. That allows the continued creation of jobs, generating millions in taxes and ensuring Illinois can meet its clean air commitments for future generations. In Illinois, nearly 50 percent of electricity is generated by nuclear stations, and more than 90 percent of the state’s carbon-free power is supplied by nuclear power plants.