Byron's power plant refueling outage brings business to area - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Byron's power plant refueling outage brings business to area

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BYRON (WREX) -

They can be seen for 50 miles in all directions, the towers of the Byron nuclear power plant. 

Together each tower provides 2-million homes in the stateline with power. Last week, Unit 2 was removed from operation for maintenance. 

The nearly 500 foot tall tower is normally filled with water vapor that can be seen from miles away but is shut off temporarily during the refueling process. It's a process that workers want to do as quick, safe and efficient as possible. 

Dean Rieck, Outage Manager at the plant said, "During an outage we do as much work as possible to make the outage as shirt as possible. We try to complete as much work as we can in a short period of time." 

Their time table is 17 days. To make it possible 2,000 seasonal workers are added to the plant. 

Steve Nosko, Project Manager at the plant, said,  "Every refueling outage we need extra people here to get done the routine maintenance that needs to be done during a refueling outage. We don't have the people on site for that. We staff up during refueling outage." 

The increased staff not only benefits the Byron Nuclear Plant but surrounding businesses as well. 

Saro Costa, owner of Costa's Restaurant in Byron says that he see's a 10-15 percent increase in business during this time. 

"It's a great influx this time. Those extra people, the contractors, they're eating and drinking and buying fuel... supporting the community that's for sure. 

The Byron nuclear plant, generating power and the economy in the stateline area. 

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