Nuclear, Reactors

ComEd’s Byron Station completes record 20-day refueling outage

Downers Grove, Ill., Oct. 16, 2000 (PRNewswire via COMTEX) — Commonwealth Edison’s Byron Nuclear Power Station Unit 1 is back on-line, after setting a new Byron refueling outage duration record of 20 days, 18 hours and 41 minutes. The Unit 1 reactor began generating electricity at 6:41 p.m. Friday, October 13, and returned to full power on Sunday.

Unit 1 came off-line on Sept. 23 for its 10th refueling outage. While the unit was shutdown to replace used fuel, other major work included: rebuilding three major pumps, robotic repairs to three Loop Stop Isolation Valves, replacing six condenser bellows assemblies, and high and low pressure turbine modifications to prepare the unit for a future power uprate. All together, more than 2,500 inspections, tests, and maintenance activities were performed on a variety of components and systems to ensure safe and reliable plant operation.

Byron is the second of five refueling outages to be completed by ComEd nuclear plants this fall. Last week, ComEd’s Dresden Nuclear Power Station completed its Unit 3 outage in 17 days, 23 hours and 55 minutes, establishing a new refueling outage duration record for U.S. boiling water reactors (BWR).

“First Dresden had a record setting outage. Now Byron improves on its past performances. I couldn’t be prouder of the employees who helped make this possible,” said Oliver D. Kingsley Jr., president and chief nuclear officer of ComEd’s Nuclear Generation Group. “Together they have helped move us one step closer to reaching our vision of being the best operator of nuclear power plants. I appreciate the hard work by everyone at Byron during this outage.”

“This outage presented some significant challenges for the work force,” said Byron Site Vice President Bill Levis. “But the employees came together like a good team does and worked their way through the issues. We’ll use the lessons we learned now in future outages and share these findings with the rest of the industry. We completed the work we needed to do, setting our sights on ensuring another lengthy run of the unit.” When the unit came off-line on September 23, it had operated for 493 consecutive days.

Approximately 2,000 ComEd and contract employees worked together to complete the outage safely and on schedule.

Byron Station is located about 25 miles southwest of Rockford and 90 miles west of Chicago. The station employs about 790 ComEd employees.

Incorporated in 1994 and based in Chicago, Unicom Corporation (NYSE: UCM) is a public company dedicated to meeting the energy needs of residential, commercial, industrial and wholesale customers. Unicom Corporation is the parent holding company to Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd), its principal subsidiary, and Unicom Enterprises, Inc. (UEI), offering competitive energy-related products and services.

Engaged principally in the production, purchase, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity to retail and wholesale customers, ComEd provides service to more than 3.4 million customers across Northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population.

SOURCE Commonwealth Edison

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