State-of-the-art equipment upgrades and inspections underway at Braidwood nuke

Equipment upgrades, safety inspections, and plant improvements are ahead for Braidwood Generating Station’s Unit 1 during its latest refueling and maintenance outage.

More than 1,500 supplemental workers will join Braidwood employees to perform more than 13,000 tasks related to the outage. The unit’s 16th shutdown follows a run of 526 days.

One of the major projects is replacement of the Unit 1 “plant process computer” with a state-of-the-art system that will add a layer of safety and redundancy and provide operators with improved visuals and plant monitoring capability. The plant process computer provides critical data to operators in the station’s control room as they assess plant conditions.

“Safely running our units from refueling outage to refueling outage is what we strive for,” said Braidwood Site Vice President Dan Enright. “The extended run is a testament to the hard work of our employees and to the reliability of our equipment. We continually invest in our equipment to run more safely and reliably.”

The 1,500 temporary workers on hand for the effort will provide a boost to the local economy.

“The additional workers means more dollars spent locally on goods and services,” said John Greuling, Will County Center for Economic Development President and CEO.  “This maintenance project should be a real shot in the arm for the local economy.”

Braidwood Generating Station is approximately 60 miles southwest of Chicago. The station’s two nuclear energy units can produce a total of more than 2,300 megawatts at full power – enough electricity to power more than 2 million homes.