LaSalle County Nuclear Generating Station

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LaSalle County Nuclear Generating Station
LaSalle County Nuclear Generating Station, Near Ottawa, Illinois (7981646921).jpg
LaSalle County Nuclear Generating Station as seen from the air.
Official nameLaSalle County Generating Station
CountryUnited States
LocationBrookfield Township, LaSalle County, near Seneca, Illinois
Coordinates41°14′44″N 88°40′9″W / 41.24556°N 88.66917°W / 41.24556; -88.66917Coordinates: 41°14′44″N 88°40′9″W / 41.24556°N 88.66917°W / 41.24556; -88.66917
StatusOperational
Construction beganSeptember 10, 1973
Commission dateUnit 1: January 1, 1984
Unit 2: October 19, 1984
Owner(s)Exelon Corporation
Operator(s)Exelon Generation
Nuclear power station
Reactor typeBWR
Reactor supplierGeneral Electric
Cooling sourceLaSalle Lake
Power generation
Units operational1 × 1137 MW
1 × 1140 MW
Make and modelBWR-5 (Mark 2)
Thermal capacity2 × 3546 MWth
Nameplate capacity2277 MW
Capacity factor94.79% (2017)
79.25% (lifetime)
Annual net output18,908 GWh (2017)
Website
LaSalle County Generating Station

LaSalle County Nuclear Generating Station, located 11 miles (18 km) southeast of Ottawa, Illinois serves Chicago and northern Illinois with electricity. The plant is owned and operated by the Exelon Corporation. Its Units 1 and 2 began commercial operation in August 1982 and April 1984, respectively.

It has two General Electric boiling water reactors. LaSalle's Unit 1 and Unit 2 together produce 2,320 megawatts, which is enough electricity for the needs of 2.3 million American homes.[1] Instead of cooling towers, the station has a 2,058 acres (833 ha) man-made cooling lake, which is also a popular fishery — LaSalle Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area — managed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.[2]

Surrounding population[edit]

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.[3]

The 2010 U.S. population within 10 miles (16 km) of LaSalle was 17,643, an increase of 7.1 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 1,902,775, an increase of 22.6 percent since 2000. Cities within 50 miles include Joliet (34 miles to city center).[4]

Site area emergency[edit]

On February 20, 2006, a "site area emergency" was declared at the plant at 12:28 AM. This was the first SAE declared at a US nuclear plant since 1991. Workers were shutting down Unit 1 for refueling when the plant's turbine control system malfunctioned, SCRAMing the reactor. The reactor had been operating at 6 percent power output at the time. Plant instruments indicated three of 185 control rods used to shut down the reactor were not fully inserted triggering the emergency declaration. After a reset, the plant's instruments indicated that only one control rod was not fully inserted, not three. The emergency ended at 4:27 AM with no damage or release of radioactivity.

Post trip evaluations have confirmed that all control rods were fully inserted within four minutes of the reactor SCRAM. A review indicates the problem was with the indication sensors, and that all control rods were fully inserted immediately at the time of the reactor scram. Follow-up evaluations also demonstrated that even if the three subject control rods remained fully withdrawn in a cold shutdown condition, the reactor would have remained adequately shutdown.[5]

Seismic risk[edit]

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's estimate of the risk each year of an earthquake intense enough to cause core damage to the reactor at LaSalle was 1 in 357,143, according to an NRC study published in August 2010.[6][7]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.exeloncorp.com/locations/Documents/LaSalle%20Generating%20Station%20Fact%20Sheet%20-%202017.pdf
  2. ^ "LaSalle County Generating Station". Exelon. Archived from the original on 2008-10-21. Retrieved 2008-11-20.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-10-02. Retrieved 2012-03-14.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ NRC Event Number 42348
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/msnbc/Sections/NEWS/quake%20nrc%20risk%20estimates.pdf

External links[edit]