US-based energy provider Exelon has started refueling outage at unit 1 of its LaSalle County Generating Station, located near Marseilles, Illinois, US.

During outage, which is carried out using a robot, the station employees will replace one-third of the unit’s fuel, and also perform and more than 9,500 comprehensive maintenance and testing activities.

The robot is designed to enable workers and supervisors to see and communicate through monitors from anywhere in the plant, thereby providing an additional layer of safety for employees performing tasks.

In addition, the robot will also connect station technical engineers with industry in real-time about plant equipment.

LaSalle Station Site vice president Pete Karaba said the robot will help supervisors to be present at more than one location while providing immediate communication to workers on the job site.

"This additional monitoring is another way we are keeping safety at the forefront of our operations," Karaba added.

LaSalle station has two reactors, each of which is refueled once every 24 months, and produce over 2,200MW of carbon free electricity at full power.

The Unit 2 is expected to continue to electricity generation during the Unit 1 outage.