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Refueling outage at Dresden supporting local economy

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013 5:30 a.m. CST

MORRIS – More than 1,600 workers are in the area to support Dresden Generating Station’s Unit 2 refueling outage that began shortly after midnight Sunday.

Most of the temporary workforce supports the station for approximately four weeks at a payroll of about $29 million, according to a news release from Dresden. The station anticipates purchasing about $8 million worth of goods and services from local vendors during that time.

“Our businesses see a real boost from Dresden’s refueling outages,” Grundy County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Caroline Portlock said in the news release. “The community businesses benefit from the additional workers who need local accommodations and buy goods, services and meals throughout the area.”

Dresden has two operating reactors, each refueled every two years. A third of the unit’s fuel will be replaced, and comprehensive maintenance and testing activities will be done, according to the news release.

Scheduled outages allow workers to perform detailed inspections, equipment upgrades and maintenance that can’t be done while units are operating.

“Operating the station safely and reliably is always our top priority,” Shane Marik, Dresden station site vice president, said in the news release. “Refueling outages are critical to assuring plant safety and long-term equipment reliability.”

Dresden Unit 3 will continue to generate electricity during the Unit 2 outage. The station’s two operating units can produce more than 1,800 megawatts net of electricity, enough to power 1.2 million average homes, according to the news release.

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