Dresden Generating Station
|Dresden Generating Station|
|Location||Goose Lake Township, Grundy County, near Morris, Illinois|
|Commission date||Unit 1: 1960
Unit 2: June 9, 1970
Unit 3: November 16, 1971
|Decommission date||Unit 1: 1978|
|Nuclear power station|
|Reactor type||Boiling water reactor|
|Reactor supplier||General Electric|
|Units operational||2 x 867 MW|
|Units decommissioned||1 x 210 MW|
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 has been fined $1.6 million for 25 incidents.
- May 15, 1996: Lowering water levels around the nuclear fuel in the reactor's core prompt a shut down at Dresden Generating Station and placement on the NRC's "watch list" that merit closer scrutiny by regulators. Dresden was on the NRC watch list six out of nine years between 1987-1996, longer than any of the 70 other operating plants in the nation. 
- July 15, 2011: Plant declared an Alert at 10:16 a.m after a chemical leak of sodium hypochlorite restricted access to a vital area that houses plant cooling water pumps.
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 units are owned and operated by Exelon.
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.
- "Dresden and Quad Cities, Nuclear Power Stations — License Renewal Application". U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). February 13, 2007. Retrieved 2008-11-19.
- "NRC: Backgrounder on Emergency Preparedness at Nuclear Power Plants". Nrc.gov. Retrieved 2012-08-17.
- Bill Dedman, Nuclear neighbors: Population rises near US reactors, msnbc.com, April 14, 2011 http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42555888/ns/us_news-life/ Accessed May 1, 2011.
- Bill Dedman, "What are the odds? US nuke plants ranked by quake risk," msnbc.com, March 17, 2011 http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42103936/ Accessed April 19, 2011.
- "Dresden Nuclear Power Plant, Illinois". Energy Information Administration, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). August 22, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-19.[dead link]
- "Dresden 2 Boiling Water Reactor". Operating Nuclear Power Reactors. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). February 14, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-19.
- "Dresden 3 Boiling Water Reactor". Operating Nuclear Power Reactors. NRC. February 14, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-19.