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Local

Exelon begins maintenance at Byron nuclear plant

BYRON – Operators removed Byron Generating Station Unit 1 from service Monday morning, kicking off a planned refueling and maintenance outage. 

The most significant upgrade, and the most visible to area residents, will be the replacement of the two Unit 1 main power transformers, which are approaching the end of their normal operating life. The upgrade is part of a fleetwide effort that plant owners Exelon Generation launched more than a decade ago. 

Also planned during the generation station’s down time: replacement work on eight large pumps, various electrical maintenance and upgrade projects, and more than 1,000 preventive maintenance tasks. 

Exelon said it has hired nearly 1,200 additional workers for the project, something that Deanna Mershon, executive director of the Byron Area Chamber of Commerce, said should prove to be a “boon to our local economy,” with the visiting workers bringing business to local merchants. 

While the unit is down, only one of Byron’s two cooling towers will produce vapor.

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