With more than 700 employees working to produce enough carbon-free electricity to power more than 2 million homes and businesses, it’s no wonder employees love to visit communities in Northern Illinois to educate them on the plant’s purpose.
Whether it’s meetings of civic groups, classroom demonstrations, or even political tours, Exelon Generation employees at the Byron Station are proud to show off the latest technology helping to curb climate change through clean air energy production.
Employees from the nuclear plant take part in dozens of these events each year. Some are tours of the nuclear plant itself – though those are rare these days due to added security measures. But employees are glad to visit regular civic groups meetings and schools. Many times a visual slide show is used to help articulate the power plant’s operations. Sometimes – a hands-on demonstration does the trick. In the end, members of the public are more knowledgeable about nuclear power and its place in the energy mix of Illinois and the country.
Currently, plant employees are busy preparing for a scheduling refueling and maintenance outage in the spring. For a few weeks, one reactor will be offline, allowing employees to perform many tasks that cannot be completed when the unit is online. When the work is done and new fuel is loaded, the unit is fully tested before being returned to service for another 18-month operating cycle.
About half of the electricity produced in Illinois comes from its six nuclear plants operated by Exelon, and more than 90 percent of the state’s carbon-free power is nuclear based!