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Braidwood refueling helps power local economy

Published: Friday, Sept. 13, 2013 5:30 a.m. CST

BRACEVILLE, Ill. – More than 2,000 highly trained technical workers are in the area to support Braidwood Generating Station’s Unit 1 refueling outage that began shortly after midnight Monday morning.

Scheduled outages allow workers to perform detailed inspections, equipment upgrades and maintenance work that cannot be completed while the units are operating.

The majority of the temporary workforce supports the station for about six weeks at a payroll of $24 million.

These good-paying jobs and the influx of people to the area temporarily boost the local economy.

“Our businesses see a positive boost from Braidwood Station’s refueling outages,” Braidwood Chamber of Commerce President Angie Hutton said.

“The local business community benefits from the additional workers who need local accommodations and purchase goods, services and meals throughout the area.”

Braidwood has two reactors, each of which is refueled once every 18 months. One-third of the unit’s fuel will be replaced and comprehensive maintenance and testing activities will be performed.

“The safe and reliable operation of Braidwood Generating Station is always our top priority,” Braidwood Generating Station Site Vice President Mark Kanavos said. “Refueling outages are critical to assuring plant safety and long-term equipment reliability.”

Braidwood Unit 2 will continue to generate electricity during the Unit 1 outage. Braidwood Generating Station is about 60 miles southwest of Chicago.

The station’s two nuclear energy units can produce a total of more than 2,300 megawatts of carbon free electricity – enough to power more than 2 million typical homes.

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