LIMERICK PA – Operators at Exelon Nuclear’s Limerick Generating Station took Unit 1 off-line Monday (March 22, 2010) shortly after midnight for what company spokesman Joseph Szafran called a “scheduled refueling and maintenance outage.”

The start of the outage represents the end of a 727-day continuous run for the unit, a new operating record for Limerick and the second longest continuous run for a boiling water reactor in the United States, Szafran added.

“Unit 1 has been online for almost two years,” setting “a new record for reliability,” said Limerick Site Vice President Chris Mudrick said. Its team “has been preparing for this outage for more than a year, and we are now ready to execute our plan safely and efficiently. A successful refueling outage will help us to safely and reliably operate the unit during the next two years,” Mudrick said.

During the outage, workers will perform maintenance activities on a variety of plant components and systems. This includes replacing approximately a third of the reactor’s fuel, and performing a series of extensive inspections. Many activities performed during the outage cannot be conducted while the plant is running.

Almost 1,900 additional workers will be added to the LGS work force as a result of the outage, including skilled workers from other Exelon sites, and specialized laborers and vendors.

Unit 2 will continue to generate electricity during the Unit 1 outage.

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