Nuclear plant operator Exelon said operators at the LaSalle County Generating Station 11 miles southeast of Ottawa, Ill., had removed Unit 1 from service on Saturday to replace seals on two pumps that were not performing at optimum levels.
The pumps circulate water in the reactor. The shut down took place a day after the unit had returned to full power – 100 percent – on Friday following a refueling and maintenance outage that included 12,600 "detailed inspections, maintenance activities and equipment upgrades," Exelon said.
The plant consists of two General Electric designed type 5 boiling water reactors that were issued operating licenses in April 1982 and December 1983, respectively.
The plant is located about 75 miles southwest of Chicago, near Marseilles, Ill. At full power, the facility's two units generate more than 2,300 megawatts of electricity – enough to power more than 2 million typical American homes, Exelon said.
Exelon also said Monday that operators had taken Limerick Generating Station's Unit 1 offline for a planned refueling outage. Technicians plan to replace a third of the unit's fuel and perform “thousands of inspection and maintenance activities,” the company said.
On the job are 800 permanently employed technicians and an outage workforce of 1,500 temporary workers, who represent an emphatic boost to the local economy.
Jayson Miller, general manager of the Hampton Inn by Hilton in Limerick, Pa., said his business can expect a 40 percent uptick in occupancy rates during a refueling outage at the plant.
Limerick is about 21 miles northwest of Philadelphia. Unit 2 at the plant will continue to operate while Unit 1 is off line.
The Limerick plant consists of two General Electric type 4 boiling water reactors, which were granted licenses in August 1985 and August 1989, respectively.
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