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Business

Braidwood station refueling outages benefit regional economy

1,200 additional workers patronize local businesses, boost regional economy

Two large diesel generators sit on the top floor of the Exelon Generation station Tuesday, Aug. 9, in Braidwood.
Two large diesel generators sit on the top floor of the Exelon Generation station Tuesday, Aug. 9, in Braidwood.

Operators at Exelon Generation’s Braidwood Station began a planned refueling outage at the nuclear power plant late last year that likely brought more than 1,200 additional workers to the region.

Maintenance activities, inspections and upgrades completed during the outage will help Braidwood deliver zero-carbon, reliable energy for another 18-month cycle, according to a news release from Exelon.    

“We invest heavily in maintenance and equipment upgrades each year to ensure Braidwood station continues to operate at world-class levels of safety and operational excellence,” Braidwood site Vice President Marri Marchionda-Palmer said.

Electricians, pipefitters, welders, carpenters, laborers and other tradespeople were onsite to perform thousands of inspections, tests, maintenance activities, equipment upgrades and modifications that cannot be done while the unit is online, including replacing nearly one-third of the reactor’s fuel.  

Workers come from all over Illinois and the U.S. for the Exelon Generation outages, staying in local hotels and patronizing local businesses.

Braidwood Station is 20 miles southwest of Joliet and has been producing carbon-free electricity for more than 2 million residents and businesses since 1988, the release said.

Nearly half of Illinois’ electricity and more than 90 percent of Illinois’ carbon-free power is supplied by Exelon Generation’s nuclear power stations. 

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