Nuclear energy

Byron-2 Nuclear Power Plant, United States

Byron-2 Nuclear Power Plant, United States

Byron's nuclear power plant is a nuclear power plant that produces electrical power in Ogle County west of Chicago and 27 km southwest of the city of Rockford, Illinois, in the state of Illinois, in the center from United States. It was approved for launch in 1985 and 1987 respectively. The maximum installed power is 2 300 - 2 356 megawatts MW.

The annual production in 2007 was approximately 18.85 TWh of electric power.

The nuclear facility has two Babcock and Wilcox pressurized water nuclear reactors, unit 1 and unit 2, which started operating in September 1985 and August 1987 respectively.

The plant was built for Commonwealth Edison and is currently owned and operated by Exelon Corporation. The Byron and its Braidwood sister nuclear plant are based on the same engineering design (although there are some differences between the two plants).

Facilities and Exit

The two Westinghouse four-circuit pressurized water reactors have an electrical power of more than 1,000 MWe. The Byron nuclear power plant has 2 units capable of generating 2347 net megawatts (MW) of electricity.

For the cooling of the reactor, the nuclear plant takes advantage of the contactless water of the Rock River. The river is located 2 miles west of the facility. The water used in the electricity generation process is cooled in the two cooling towers of the station and recirculated through the purge line of the plant to the Rock River.

Another water, from Byron's radioactive waste treatment system, is transferred to the refueling water storage tank (RWST), where a sample is analyzed and taken to detect contamination. Once it passes through the analysis, the water is discharged through the purge line into the river.

According to the owner of the plant, Exelon, the Byron station is operated by some 850 Exelon employees and 50 other permanent contractors. The majority of Byron's employees reside in Ogle and Winnebago counties in northern Illinois. The plant paid US $ 31.1 million in taxes in 2009 to several local tax agencies.

Safety of the Byron Nuclear Power Plant

After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the security installations around the nuclear power plant were tightly adjusted. There is a so-called safety zone around the power plant, which should not be constructed.

Since February 2006, Exelon has partnered with the Illinois EPA to investigate tritium pollution in groundwater.

On October 19, 2007, there was a leak in a cooling water pipeline in the non-nuclear part of the plant, which was discovered during a patrol. This was the first time since the mid-1990s that both blocks were out of service at the same time. On October 31, 2007, the reactors came back into operation.

On January 30, 2012, tritiated steam was discharged, probably due to a failure of a component of a power plant breaker. The nuclear reactor was shut off and powered by diesel generators (thermal engines), the incident was evaluated by the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission as an "unusual event" with the lowest of the four levels of danger.

Reactor typePressurized water reactor (PWR): working and pros and cons
Reactor modelW (4-Loop) (DRYAMB)
Grid connection1987-02-06
OwnerExelon Corporation
OperatorExelon Generation Co., Llc
CountryUnited States
ZoneByron, Illinois

Published: January 6, 2013
Last review: November 19, 2018

Nuclear power plants in United States