Although, Exelon recently announced plans to shutdown Bryon and Dresden sometime in 2021. They plan to bring Byron-Unit 2 offline for a planned refueling outage. The 33-year-old nuclear plant will come offline early in October for 19 days of maintenance, refueling, and upgrades. During the refueling outage, they will employ 700 employees and approximately 1,200 additional contractors.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Byron Station (Units 1&2) has provided safe, reliable carbon-free electricity to more than 2 million homes and businesses in Northern Illinois, as well as, powering critically important hospitals, regional response centers, and essential businesses.
The station’s highly trained employees, coupled with skilled contractors from around the country, understand the critical role they play in ensuring a safe and successful refueling outage. Therefore, they plan to implement additional precautions to ensure they remain healthy during the pandemic, including rigorous self-screening for signs of fever or respiratory issues before reporting to work.
The refueling outage for Unit 2 will focus on refueling 1/3 of the reactor, equipment repairs, inspections, and preventive maintenance items. Due to the COVID-19 issues, Exelon reduced the scope of the outage and the workforce needed for the outage was reduced by 425. Crews will replace circulating water valves, buried piping, and digitally upgrade some of the main control room monitoring functions.
Byron-Unit 2 generates about 1,136 MW of carbon-free power at capacity and is licensed by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for operation to 2046. Exelon announced their plan to shutdown the station based on PJM market rules.