Braidwood Generating Station
- Number of operating units: 2
- Site net generation: 2,389 net MW
- Customers served: More than 2 million homes
- Location: Approximately 20 miles southwest of Joliet, Ill. and 60 miles southwest of Chicago
- Number of Employees: 795
- Annual Payroll: $75 million
Braidwood Generating Station produces enough electricity to power more than 2 million average American homes. The facility is built on a 4,457-acre site, and its cooling lake was formed from scarred farming land and an old strip mine. Units 1 and 2 began commercial operation in July and October of 1988, respectively. Both of Braidwood’s units are Westinghouse pressurized water reactors.
With an annual payroll of $75 million, the majority of Braidwood’s 795 employees live in Grundy and Will counties. Braidwood also supports nearly 5,000 direct and secondary jobs in Illinois. During refueling outages, Braidwood employs several hundred temporary contractors who boost the local economy during their stay.
Illinois’ nuclear facilities contribute nearly $9 billion to the state’s economy annually, with Braidwood contributing $26.5 million in property taxes annually. The greatest impact in Illinois is on the professional, scientific and technical sectors due to the volume of specialized services required to operate a nuclear energy facility.
Braidwood aims to be a good neighbor and is active in the local community. The site’s main activities include:
- Fishing for a Cure: Since 2002, Braidwood Station has hosted a bass fishing tournament at Braidwood Lake. Each year employees choose a charity to benefit from the fundraiser. In its 18-year history, this event has raised more than $600,000 for different charities. Exelon pays all expenses for the event, allowing 100% of the proceeds to go directly to charity selected by employees. This year’s event will benefit pediatric cancer research at Lurie’s Children’s Hospital of Chicago.
- Braidwood Summerfest: Exelon has for many years been a top sponsor of the Lion’s Club annual Summerfest celebration.
- Braidwood Area Healthy Community Coalition: Exelon has supported this organization’s efforts to combat the opioid crisis in Braidwood and in 2017 donated more than $53,000 to the BAHCC through its Fishing for a Cure fundraiser.
Nuclear energy is by far the largest clean-air energy source and the only one that can produce large amounts of electricity around the clock. In 2018, Braidwood generated 19.3 million megawatt-hours of carbon-free electricity, which is the equivalent of removing 2.9 million average passenger vehicles from our roads.
- Gabby Green Grants: Exelon has donated $10,000 in grants to local school districts for the completion of environmental projects. Examples include outdoor classrooms, water bottle re-filling stations and a birdhouse project to combat mosquitos.
- Artificial Habitats at Braidwood Lake: Since 2007, Braidwood has teamed with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and local anglers to deploy artificial habitats at Braidwood Lake. This effort combined with the IDNR annual restocking of largemouth bass has significantly enhanced Braidwood Lake. The habitat units are designed to provide multiple benefits to largemouth bass, a favorite of Midwest fishing enthusiasts, at various stages in their life – from acting as a nursery habitat for young fish to providing feeding sites for larger, older bass. To date, nearly 1,000 habitat units have been deployed.
Braidwood Generating Station, like all U.S. nuclear energy facilities, is based on a “defense-in-depth” design, which means there are redundant layers of safety. There are multiple layers of safety systems to provide water to the reactor core. These safety systems, and their backup safety systems, are powered by multiple and redundant power sources. Nuclear energy plants are built with multiple physical barriers, including thick, steel-reinforced concrete walls around the reactor to contain radioactive materials.
Our employees are personally committed to safety. They are highly-skilled workers and continually receive training to make our safe work practices even safer. We have a culture of continuous learning and implement lessons learned from operating experience to continue to operate safe nuclear energy facilities. Each employee has 100 percent accountability. We welcome strict, daily oversight by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). We work with the NRC to ensure that all regulations are complied with - and exceeded.
Braidwood employs a sophisticated emergency response plan to protect public health and safety approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the state of Illinois. The Emergency Planning includes coordination with local counties, municipalities and school districts.