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Dresden Nuclear Power Plant, Illinois                                        
Update: August 22, 2008
Next Update: September 2009

Dresden Nuclear Power Plant
Net Generation and Capacity, 2007

Net Capacity

(Million Kilowatt Hours)
Factor (Percent)
Type On Line
Expiration Date
2 867 6,972.695 91.8 BWR Jun. 9, 1970 Dec. 22, 2029
3 867 7,558.086 99.5 BWR Nov. 16, 1971 Jan. 12, 2031
  1,734 14,530.781 95.7      
BWR = Boiling Water Reactor

Description: The Dresden nuclear power plant is located on a 953-acre site in Grundy County. It serves Chicago and the northern quarter of the State. Dresden 1 was retired in 1978.

Dresden, Unit 2

Nuclear Steam System Supplier (NSSS Vendor)= General Electric
Architect Engineer = Sargent & Lundy
Owner = Exelon Corporation
Operator (Licensee) = Exelon

Dresden, Unit 3

Nuclear Steam System Supplier (NSSS Vendor)= General Electric
Architect Engineer = Sargent & Lundy
Owner = Exelon Corporation
Operator (Licensee) = Exelon

Boiling Water Reactor (BWR)

In a typical commercial boiling water reactor (1) the reactor core creates heat, (2) a steam-water mixture is produced when very pure water (reactor coolant) moves upward through the core absorbing heat, (3) the steam-water mixture leaves the top of the core and enters the two stages of moisture separation where water droplets are removed before the steam is allowed to enter the steam line, (4) the steam line directs the steam to the main turbine causing it to turn the turbine generator, which produces electricity. The unused steam is exhausted to the condenser where it is condensed into water. The resulting water is pumped out of the condenser with a series of pumps, reheated, and pumped back to the reactor vessel. The reactor's core contains fuel assemblies which are cooled by water, which is force-circulated by electrically powered pumps. Emergency cooling water is supplied by other pumps which can be powered by onsite diesel generators. Other safety systems, such as the containment cooling system, also need electric power.

Boiling Water Reactor (BWR)
© U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Containment: According to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, both units include boiling water reactors (BWR) Mark 1 reactors.


Sources for Data in Table: Capacity, for purposes of this report, is the net summer capability as reported in Energy Information Administration (EIA) Form EIA-860, "Annual Electric Generator Report." Capacity Factor is a percentage calculation in which the maximum possible generation (based on net summer capability) is divided into the actual generation then multiplied by 100. Generation is the net electricity output reported by plant owners on Form EIA-906, “Power Plant Report.” Type of Unit: All U.S. commercial reactors currently in operation are one of two types: BWR (boiling water reactor) or PWR (pressurized light water reactor). The type, on-line date, and the license expiration date are published annually in Information Digest by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

U.S. Nuclear Power Plants by State Plants
Alabama Browns Ferry
  Farley (Joseph M. Farley)
Arizona Palo Verde
Arkansas Arkansas Nuclear One
California Diablo Canyon
  San Onofre
Connecticut Millstone
Florida Crystal River 3
  St Lucie
  Turkey Point
Georgia Hatch (Edwin I. Hatch)
Illinois Braidwood
  LaSalle County
  Quad Cities
Iowa Duane Arnold
Kansas Wolf Creek
Louisiana River Bend
Maryland CalvertCliff
Massachusetts Pilgrim
Michigan Donald C. Cook
  Enrico Fermi (Fermi)
Minnesota Monticello
  Prairie Island
Mississippi Grand Gulf
Missouri Callaway
Nebraska Cooper
  Fort Calhoun
New Hampshire Seabrook
New Jersey Hope Creek
  Oyster Creek
  Salem Creek
New York Fitzpatrick (James A. Fitzpatrick)
  Indian Point
  Nile Mile Point
  R.E. Ginna (Ginna, or Robert E. Ginna)
North Carolina Brunswick
Ohio Davis-Besse
Pennsylvania Beaver Valley
  Peach Bottom
  Three Mile Island
South Carolina Catawba
  H.B. Robinson
  Virgil C. Summer (Summer)
Tennessee Sequoyah
  Watts Bar
Texas Comanche Peak
  South Texas
Vermont Vermont Yankee
Virginia North Anna
Washington Columbia Generating Station
Wisconsin Kewaunee
  Point Beach

see also:
annual nuclear statistics back to 1953
projected electricity capacity to 2030
international electricity statistics