Exelon (NYSE:EXC) said April 18 that it has commenced a regularly scheduled refueling and maintenance outage at the Byron 2 nuclear facility in Byron, Illinois.
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, company officials said.
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.
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.
Byron Units 1 and 2 are pressurized water reactors (PWRs). Together they have the capacity to generate about 2,300 MW.
In November 2015, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued Exelon a 20-year license renewal for the two units. The renewed licenses authorize Unit 1 to operate through Oct. 31, 2044, and Unit 2 through Nov. 6, 2046.
Exelon has also been trying to persuade the Illinois Legislature to pass a clean energy standard that would improve the economic prospects for Byron and its other nuclear power units in Illinois.