BYRON, Ill. — Workers from 26 Illinois counties and 30 of the nation’s states have made the Rock River Valley their temporary home as they take part in the scheduled maintenance and refueling outage at Byron Generating Station. The project, which kicked off this morning when the station’s Unit 2 reactor was taken offline, will generate millions of dollars in wages and commerce for the Byron area and beyond.
“This influx of workers to our hotels, restaurants and other businesses is important as Rockford continues to grow economic activity in the area,” said Einar Forsman, president and CEO of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce. “Rockford is home to the second most permanent employees of the station behind only the city of Byron. If we can add additional Rockford residents as temporary employees while adding something to the bottom line of our businesses, it’s a great situation for all involved.”
Approximately 1,200 additional workers will join the 860 permanent Byron Station employees, performing more than 13,000 inspections and maintenance activities. Much of the work performed during the outage cannot be done while the unit is operating. All of the activities are designed to assure the unit’s safe and reliable operation when online.
“Our work performed during the outage will ensure our facility will operate 24-7 during the hottest temperatures and strongest storms this summer,” said Mark Kanavos, Byron Station site vice president.
Exelon Generation’s six nuclear stations inject nearly $9 billion into the Illinois economy each year while providing 90% of the state’s carbon-free power. The nuclear units are responsible for 5,900 direct jobs in the state and nearly 20,000 indirect jobs. To learn more about the vital role nuclear plays in supplying electricity to Illinois and the tremendous benefits it provides families and communities, visit www.nuclearpowersillinois.com.
While the unit is down, residents should be aware that one of the cooling towers will not produce any water vapor cloud. This is normal when a unit is taken offline. Byron’s Unit 1 will continue to supply clean electricity to Exelon customers during the Unit 2 outage. Byron Generating Station is in Ogle County, Ill., about 25 miles southwest of Rockford. Join us on twitter and You Tube.