Exelon Dresden 2 nuclear plant goes offline for refueling

Operators removed Dresden Unit 2 from service early this morning for a planned refueling and maintenance outage.

Refueling outages allow workers to perform detailed inspections, equipment upgrades and maintenance work that cannot be completed while the unit is operating. By replacing and updating equipment on an ongoing basis, it ensures the plant uses the most up-to-date technology.

During the outage, workers will replace about one-third of the reactor’s fuel and conduct numerous tests, inspections and maintenance activities.

More than 1,200 additional workers will join the station’s 850 permanent employees during the outage, providing a temporary boost to the local economy. Many area motels, restaurants and other businesses see an increase in activity during Dresden’s refueling outages.

“Refueling outages represent Exelon’s continued investment in the future of Dresden Station,” said Site Vice President Shane Marik. “Our top priority during the outage is performing the right work to keep the unit operating safely and reliably through the cold winter months and beyond.”  

Dresden Generating Station is approximately 60 miles southwest of Chicago. The station’s two nuclear energy units can produce a total of more than 1,800 megawatts at full power – enough carbon-free electricity to power more than 1.2 million typical homes. Dresden Unit 1, which began commercial operation in 1960 and was retired in 1978, has been designated a Nuclear Historic Landmark by the American Nuclear Society.