Left to Right: ANDREW CHESNEY, SUE REZIN, MICHAEL HASTINGS, TOM DEMMER, TERRY MCGOLDRICK, SUZANNE NESS, TOM MCNAMARA, LARRY WALSH JR, MIKE CLEMMONS, DAVE VELLA, MAURICE WEST, BILL CUNNINGHAM, STEVE STADELMAN, BILLY PHILLIPS
On February 4th, elected officials toured Byron Nuclear Station and met some of the workers who generate enough power for more than two million homes. Byron Station, located in Ogle County, has two Westinghouse pressurized water reactors that generate nearly 2,500 megawatts of zero-emissions energy. Unit One entered service in 1985 and Unit Two in 1987. Byron Station has more than seven-hundred employees including about three-hundred IBEW 15 members. Hundreds of skilled trades workers supplement the workforce during outages and projects.
Byron’s 2019 capacity factor was 96.9%. Unit 1 currently has three straight breaker-to-breaker runs; periods of non-stop operation between refueling cycles, while Unit 2 currently has two straight breaker-to-breaker runs. As of Oct. 6, 2020, Byron had operated 4,724 consecutive days with at least one unit online, almost thirteen years straight of continuous power generation.
In 2015, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved Exelon’s 2013 license renewal application, authorizing Unit One to operate through October 31, 2044, and Unit Two through Nov. 6, 2046.
The visitors to Byron were Mike Clemmons, Busines Manger of IBEW 176 since 2018. Headquartered in Joliet, IBEW 176 is the union for over 1200 inside electricians working along the I-80 corridor from Kewaunee to Kankakee County.
State Senator Stadelman was elected in 2012 and reelected in 2020 from Senate District 34 covering the Rockford area in Winnebago County. Senate District 34 encompasses House Districts 67 and 68 (each Senate District contains two House Districts).
Maurice West II was elected for House District 67 in 2018 and re-elected last year . Dave Vella won a tight race for the House District 68 seat in November. West and Vella are on the Public Utilities Committee.
Suzanne Ness won the 2020 election for House District 66, located in McHenry and Kane Counties. She is a member of the Energy & Environment Committee.
Tom McNamara, the forty-first mayor of Rockford and former Third Ward Alderman, took office in 2017 after winning a four-way race in a landslide with sixty-eight percent of the vote. He is seeking re-election this year.
Andrew Chesney has represented House District 89 which includes all or parts of Carroll, Jo Daviess, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside and Winnebago Counties since 2019. To the southeast along the Rock River is House District 90 which also covers DeKalb, LaSalle, and Lee counties. Thomas Demmer has represented the 90th since 2013.
Larry Walsh Jr, was first elected from District 86 in 2012. The district includes Channahon, Elwood, Joliet, New Lenox and Shorewood. The Machinist’s Union member is Chairperson of the Public Utilities Committee and a member of the Energy & Environment Committee.
Sue Rezin was appointed State Senator for District 38 including parts of Bureau, LaSalle, Livingston and Putnam Counties, in 2010 and has been reelected twice. She is the Minority Party Spokesperson on the Energy & Public Utilities Committee.
Mike Hastings was first elected State Senator for District 19 in 2012, reelected in 2016 and ran unopposed in 2020. The district straddles the border between southwestern Cook and northeastern Will Counties. He is Chairperson of the Energy & Public Utilities Committee.
State Senator Bill Cunningham is also on the Energy & Public Committee. He was elected in 2012 to represent District 18 residents in southwestern Cook County, from Chicago to Tinley Park.