Refuleing outage underway at Excelon Nuclear

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CORDOVA, Ill. (KWQC) - Monday, Excelon Nuclear employees began maintenance work as part of the annual refueling outage. One of the two operating reactors at the Quad Cities station will be shut down for two months for annual maintenance work. Over a thousand Exelon employees from around the country live in the Quad Cities area during the outage. According to Senior Communications Manager, Bill Stoermer, the outage brings an economic boost to the metro.

"These 1600 people that are here, many of them travel outside of the Quad Cities region for the outage, stay at our local hotels, go to our restaurants, buy consumables in the area," Stoermer said. "It's about a four to five million dollar economic impact for upper Rock Island County in particular but also the Quad cities metro area."

According to the Quad Cities Convention and Visitor's Bureau the outage brings nearly $1 million in added revenue. This year, Stoermer said the outage has added significance. Last year, the plant faced the threat of closing altogether.

"We would have reduced the staff, we would have reduced the property taxes that we pay, we would have gotten the plant ready for decommissioning down the road."

The Future Energy Jobs Act allows the plant 10 additional years of operation. Stoermer said it's given the company a positive outlook on this year's refueling outage.

"Our employees are excited, the uncertainty of shutting the plant down now is gone, we can focus on preparing this plant for long-term operations."