Exelon said March 21 that the Quad Cities Station operators removed Unit 2 from service last night to begin a scheduled refueling and maintenance outage. Since its last refueling outage, the unit operated for 683 consecutive days, delivering around-the-clock, carbon-free electricity to customers.
“During the last 23 months Unit 2 operated each and every day, providing customers with electricity to heat their homes in the winter or cool them in the summer,” said Quad Cities Site Vice President Scott Darin. “This speaks to the unparalleled reliability of nuclear power, and the value Illinois nuclear facilities bring to the state of Illinois.”
Exelon’s six Illinois nuclear facilities provide nearly half of the state of Illinois’ electricity, enough to support more than seven million customers.
Over the last 10 years, Quad Cities Station has operated at an average 94.4 percent of capacity, which is above the industry average of 91 percent and according to the Nuclear Energy Institute, significantly higher than the next closest U.S. baseload electricity provider, coal (59%). Quad Cities Station achieved a capacity factor of 95 percent in 2015.
During the outage, Quad Cities Station is bringing in nearly 1,700 supplemental workers to help support the station’s 800 permanent employees. These additional workers provide a temporary boost to the local economy. During the Quad Cities Unit 1 outage in 2015, the station spent more than $37 million with local vendors and payroll for its supplemental workers.
“This annual influx of a workers coming to the Cordova area means additional business for many of our upper Rock Island County communities,” said Quad Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau President and CEO Joe Taylor. “These additional workers frequent local restaurants, retail stores, and many stay at our area hotels. It is definitely a significant boost to the local economy on both sides of the river.”
During the refueling outage, workers will perform approximately 11,000 maintenance and refurbishment activities that cannot be performed while the unit is operating. The work tasks are designed to enhance the unit’s ability to provide around-the-clock energy during the next 24 month operating cycle.
Quad Cities Station has two reactors, each of which is refueled once every 24 months. Approximately one-third of the unit’s fuel will be replaced. Quad Cities Unit 1 will continue to generate electricity during the Unit 2 outage.