More than 1,500 highly skilled workers boost sales at area businesses
POTTSTOWN, PA — Operators at Exelon Generation’s Limerick Generating Station removed the Unit 1 nuclear reactor from service just after midnight on Sunday to begin a planned refueling outage. The shutdown marks the end of a record-setting 707 consecutive days online providing carbon-free energy since the last refueling outage in 2016.
To support the refueling and maintenance outage, more than 1,500 highly skilled local and regional union and tradespeople will converge on Montgomery, Chester and Berks Counties. For several weeks, they will fill nearby hotels to capacity and bolster local businesses during a typically slower tourism period.
“As the business advocacy organization for the tri-county region, we recognize and appreciate the significant impact that Limerick Generating Station’s annual refueling outages have on our local economy,” said Eileen Dautrich, president of the Tri-County Area Chamber of Commerce. “The additional revenue supports hundreds of small businesses and has a positive ripple effect on our regional economy.”
Refueling outages allow workers to perform detailed inspections, equipment upgrades and maintenance that cannot be completed while the reactor is online. Workers will replace about one-third of the reactor’s fuel and will perform thousands of inspections and maintenance activities. Limerick Unit 2 will continue to generate electricity during the Unit 1 refueling outage.
“We are very thankful for the overwhelming community support we receive during our annual refueling outages,” said Limerick Site Vice President Rick Libra. “The maintenance and inspection activities underway will help make our safe facility even safer and enhance reliability during the peak summer months ahead.”
Limerick Generating Station is located approximately 20 miles northwest of Philadelphia and its dual reactors provide enough carbon-free power for more than two million homes and businesses. Almost half of Pennsylvania’s electricity comes from nuclear and more than 90 percent of the state’s carbon-free power comes from the Commonwealth’s five operating reactors.