Four of six Illinois nuclear power plants—Braidwood, Byron, LaSalle, and Quad Cities—set operational records while conducting spring refueling outages amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Performance records include the shortest refueling outage (18 days) at LaSalle; the shortest refueling outage at Quad Cities (16 days), as well as the completion of the site’s longest continuous run (722 days); and the completion at both Braidwood and Byron of their sixth consecutive continuous cycle of operations, also known as a “breaker-to-breaker” run, according to a May 7 press release from Exelon Generation. Exelon’s average outage duration in Illinois this spring was 17 days, a full two weeks shorter than the national average, the release stated.
What they’re saying: "The essential workers who operate, maintain, and refuel Exelon’s Illinois nuclear stations delivered a heroic performance this spring,” said Bryan Hanson, Exelon Generation’s president and chief nuclear officer. “Not only did they perform the required outage work safely and effectively, but they did it in record time while preventing the spread of COVID-19.”
Added Terry McGoldrick, president of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 15: “Exelon Generation went above and beyond to protect everyone who came on-site during an outage so our workers could complete critical maintenance work. Our folks worked hard to support these essential refuelings while protecting each other and the community, and we’re proud of them.”
Background: All four Exelon plants are two-unit sites. Braidwood houses 1,212-MWe and 1,174-MWe pressurized water reactors; Byron, 1,189-MWe and 1,158-MWe PWRs; LaSalle, 1,161-MWe and 1,159-MWe boiling water reactors; and Quad Cities, 934-MWe and 937-MWe BWRs.