Exelon (NYSE:EXC) said Feb. 2 that it has started a regularly-scheduled refueling and maintenance outage at its LaSalle Unit 2 nuclear facility located about 75 miles southwest of Chicago near Marseilles, Ill.
The outage work began early Feb. 2. The work will be completed by the more than 1,400 supplemental workers and 800 permanent employees at LaSalle, Exelon said.
LaSalle has two boiling water reactors (BWRs), each of which is refueled once every 24 months. Each of the two units has an operating capacity of roughly 1,100 MW.
One-third of Unit 2’s fuel will be replaced and more than 10,000 comprehensive maintenance and testing activities will be performed. LaSalle Unit 1 will continue to generate electricity during the Unit 2 outage.
“LaSalle Station is proud to be one of six nuclear power plants in Illinois that provide half of the state’s energy,” said Site Vice President Pete Karaba. “Supplemental employees come back to our station year after year to work our outages and help us contribute to safe, carbon-free electricity generation.”
Exelon is the nation’s largest nuclear operator. Its non-utility nuclear plants have been struggling to stay profitable in a business environment of modest demand and low energy and capacity prices. The company has been working with state officials in Illinois to find ways to keep any of its Illinois nuclear units from retiring prematurely.
Meanwhile, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said it has started work on an environmental impact statement (EIS) on the license renewal application for both LaSalle units. The current operating licenses for Units 1 and 2 expire on April 17, 2022, and Dec. 16, 2023.