|Dresden Generating Station|
Exterior view of Dresden Station circa 1971
|Location||Goose Lake Township, Grundy County, near Morris, Illinois|
|Construction began||Unit 1: May 1, 1956
Unit 2: January 10, 1966
Unit 3: October 14, 1966
|Commission date||Unit 1: July 4, 1960
Unit 2: June 9, 1970
Unit 3: November 16, 1971
|Decommission date||Unit 1: October 31, 1978|
|Construction cost||Unit 1: $423 million (2010 USD) or $466 million in 2016 dollars
Unit 2: $856 million (2010 USD) or $942 million in 2016 dollars
Unit 3: $828 million (2010 USD) or $911 million in 2016 dollars
|Operator(s)||Exelon Generation Company, LLC|
|Nuclear power station|
|Reactor supplier||General Electric|
|Cooling source||Direct open-cycle mode:[a] Intake from canal leading to the Kankakee River,[b] discharge directly to the Illinois River. The cooling canal system, cooling lake, and the supplementary cooling towers are completely bypassed in this mode of operation.
Indirect open-cycle mode:[c] Intake from canal leading to the Kankakee River,[b][d] discharge to cooling canal leading to Dresden Cooling Lake,[e] discharged from lake through return cooling canal that eventually discharges into the Illinois River. Use of the cooling towers for supplemental cooling of canal system water is usually necessary during this mode of operation.
Closed-cycle mode:[f] Intake from return cooling canal leading back from Dresden Cooling Lake,[g] discharge to cooling canal leading to Dresden Cooling Lake.[e] Use of the cooling towers for supplemental cooling of canal system water is usually not necessary during this mode of operation.
|Cooling towers||4 × Mechanical Draft
|Units operational||1 × 902 MW
1 × 895 MW
|Make and model||Unit 1: BWR-1 (Mark 1)
Units 2–3: BWR-3 (Mark 1)
|Units decommissioned||1 × 197 MW|
|Thermal capacity||1 × 700 MWth (decommissioned)
2 × 2957 MWth
|Nameplate capacity||1797 MW|
|Capacity factor||98.13% (2017)
73.30% (lifetime, excluding Unit 1)
|Annual net output||15,447 GWh (2017)|
Dresden Generating Station (also known as Dresden Nuclear Power Plant or Dresden Nuclear Power Station) is the first privately financed nuclear power plant built in the United States. Dresden 1 was activated in 1960 and retired in 1978. Operating since 1970 are Dresden units 2 and 3, two General Electric BWR-3 boiling water reactors. Dresden Station is located on a 953-acre (386 ha) site in Grundy County, Illinois, at the head of the Illinois River, near Morris, Illinois. It is immediately northeast of the Morris Operation—the only de facto high-level radioactive waste storage site in the United States. It serves Chicago and the northern quarter of the state of Illinois, capable of producing 867 megawatts of electricity from each of its two reactors, enough to power over one million average American homes.
Between the 1970s and 1996, Dresden was fined $1.6 million for 25 incidents.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission defines two emergency planning zones around nuclear power plants: a plume exposure pathway zone with a radius of 10 miles (16 km), concerned primarily with exposure to, and inhalation of, airborne radioactive contamination, and an ingestion pathway zone of about 50 miles (80 km), concerned primarily with ingestion of food and liquid contaminated by radioactivity.
The 2010 U.S. population within 10 miles (16 km) of Dresden was 83,049, an increase of 47.6 percent in a decade, according to an analysis of U.S. Census data for msnbc.com. The 2010 U.S. population within 50 miles (80 km) was 7,305,482, an increase of 3.5 percent since 2000. Cities within 50 miles include Chicago (43 miles to city center).
Both currently operating units are owned and operated by Exelon, which also owns and is responsible for the decommissioning of Unit 1. Prior to August 3, 2000, all three units were owned by Commonwealth Edison.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's estimate of the risk each year of an earthquake intense enough to cause core damage to the reactor at Dresden was 1 in 52,632, according to an NRC study published in August 2010.
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