WOOD RIVER - Dana Korneman started his career after he graduated college as a mechanical engineer on February 17, 1969, at the Wood River Power Plant. The past few months of demolition work fascinated him. Korneman now lives in Clinton, IL. He was an avid watcher of the Riverbender.com live broadcasts of the towers and general demolition of the plant.

Get The Latest News!

Don't miss our top stories and need-to-know news everyday in your inbox.

"The demolitions were sad days for all the folks who called this their work place for many, many years," he said. "I’ve got a lot of memories from working there. It was a great old plant, served the Illinois Power customers well for 69 years."

Korneman explained the first three units were built in 1946-47.

"Then Unit 4 was built in 1954, then last Unit 5 on line in 1964," he said. "Until he 'new' Baldwin plant was in service in late 70s, Wood River was the workhorse of the IP system. Hennepin, Havana, and Vermillion (near Danville) supplied the Northern part of IP territory. Wood River at its peak burned 50 one-hundred ton rail road cars of coal every day. Two 50 car trains went back and forth to Southern Illinois coal mines. Then after clean air act, lower sulphur coal came from Montana."

Korneman worked in Wood River for seven years before transferring to the Clinton Nuclear plant where he finished his career.

Article continues after sponsor message

Korneman was very involved in the five-year overhauls of this large turbine generator. One overhaul was unexpected as the 50-ton rotor, made of high chrome steel to meet the stresses of 2000psi steam at 1050 degrees F cracked in service. The turbine began to vibrate more when starting up after repeated and short-duration boiler outages.

Korneman said General Electric, the manufacturer of the turbine, and all of the turbine generators in the plant advised that this turbine rotor could be undergoing cracking due to thermal-induced fatigue. Unfortunately, during one startup, in the middle of the night with a GE turbine engineer observing, the turbine vibration became unacceptably high, and we were forced to shut it down.

He recalls distinctly calling the plant manager, P.T. Hutchinson at about 2 a.m. and told him that GE advised that we had a cracked rotor and should not attempt to run the turbine generator.

"Unit 5 with its normally base-loaded, high-efficiency operation, supplied 400 MW to the grid 7/24 and to have it out of service for a prolonged period was a big deal," he said. "We started taking it apart the next morning.

"Sure enough, when they removed the upper half of the turbine casing, there was a visible crack (no nondestructive examination was needed to see the crack) all the way around the shaft. A new rotor would take at least 18 months to be manufactured, so the cracked rotor was shipped back to the GE factory at Schenectady, NY where the crack was machined out. It was 4½ inches deep in an approximately 24-inch diameter rotor. They made a large transition, half-moon-shaped cut in the rotor to the bottom of the crack, and returned it to the plant.

"We reassembled the turbine, less one rotating set of blades, and one set of diaphragms, and ran it at reduced power for the next 18 months or so until the new rotor was delivered."

More like this:

Mar 27, 2024 - Wood River Detective Captures Meth Suspect Amidst Property Condemnation

Apr 4, 2024 - Wood River Welcomes New Firefighter

Mar 28, 2024 - 'What's Up Downtown' Tonight In Wood River; Business Alliance Members Discuss Growth

Apr 3, 2024 - Weber Recognized For 25 Years With Wood River Police

Dec 15, 2023 - Wood River Police, ILEAS Execute Important Search Warrant

Related Video:

DRONE VIDEO: Wood River Power Plant Stack Demolition

Wood River Power Plant Stack Demolition