Exelon Generation said while its Braidwood Generating Station undergoes its planned refueling outage, more than 1,400 additional workers come to the region, providing a boost to the local economy.
Operators at the station recently removed one of its reactors from service to allow for electricians, pipe fitters, welders, carpenters, laborers and other tradespeople to work at the plant, according to a news release.
A second reactor unit will keep supplying the region with carbon-free electricity during the outage. The Braidwood Station has been in operation, serving more than 2 million residents and businesses, since 1988.
They will perform thousands of inspections, tests, maintenance activities, equipment upgrades and modifications that cannot be done with the unit online, including replacing nearly one-third of the reactor’s fuel. The company said the additional workers in town also will benefit local businesses.
“Our community relies on the Braidwood outage boost,” Braidwood city administrator Tony Altiery said. “Business is already booming here. You see more people at gas stations, restaurants ... The city enjoys a significant increase in sales tax revenue.”
Jones-Eez Bar-B-Q, a restaurant owned by Braidwood Mayor Bob Jones, will be opening early at 6 a.m. to serve breakfast to the outage workers.
“We love this time of year, seeing the outage workers descend on Braidwood to frequent our businesses,” Jones said. “It’s a lot of the same workers coming year in and year out.”