Nuclear, O&M, Retrofits & Upgrades, Retrofits & Upgrades

Exelon’s Braidwood nuclear unit 1 out for planned refueling

Exelon has taken its nuclear-powered Braidwood Generating Station Unit 1 out of service for a planned refueling outage.

The refueling and maintenance outages typically last approximately a month. More than 1,400 additional workers will be brought in to perform thousands of inspections, maintenance projects, equipment upgrades and modifications, according the utility.

Operated by Exelon affiliate and Chicago-based ComEd, Braidwood’s 1,194-MW Unit 1 has been generating power since 1987 and is licensed to operate through 2046. Unit 2 was originally brought online one year later and is licensed to 2047, according to reports.

The massive outage work is considered a boon for local communities, too.

“Our community relies on the Braidwood outage boost,” said Tony Altiery, City Administrator for the City of Braidwood. “Business is already booming here. You see more people at gas stations, restaurants, grocery stores and even the local banks and barbershops. The city enjoys a significant increase in sales tax revenue while these workers are here.” 

Braidwood’s 1,160-MW Unit 2 will keep supply the region with electricity during the outage. Once fully refueled and upgraded, Unit 1 will operate another 18 months or so until the next scheduled outage.

“The maintenance activities and equipment upgrades completed during this outage will ensure Braidwood Station continues operating at world-class levels for years to come,” said Braidwood Site Vice President Marri Marchionda-Palmer. “Our employees and contractors work hard during outages and take a lot of pride in providing Illinois with reliable, zero-carbon energy.”

Braidwood Station is located 20 miles southwest of Joliet and has been producing carbon-free electricity for more than two million residents and businesses since 1988. Nearly half of Illinois’ electricity and more than 90 percent of Illinois’ carbon-free power is supplied by Exelon Generation’s nuclear power stations.

(Rod Walton is content director for Power Engineering and POWERGEN International. He can be reached at 918-831-9177 and [email protected]).