Skip to main content

2005 Refueling Outages

The U.S. nuclear industry's refueling outage durations have improved substantially over the past 30 years. In the 80s and early 90s, the average duration of a refueling outage was 3 months. Now it's one month. Some plants refuel in as little as 15-20 days.

Nuclear units shut down for refueling either in the spring or fall when electric demand is lowest. In 2005, 66 nuclear units (of 103) shut down for refueling outages. 43 refueled in the Spring 2005 and 23 in Fall 2005. The average refueling outage for 2005 was 38 days. The median was 34 days. In 2004, the average and median were 42 and 35.


The record for the fastest refueling outage (scroll down to near the bottom) for a boiling water reactor was Browns Ferry 3 at 14 days and 16 hours in 2002. For a pressurized water reactor it was Braidwood 2 at 15 days and 14 hours in 2003. In 2005, the fastest refueling outages were Braidwood 2 and Limerick 2 at about 17 days.

In the 80s and early 90s, the common refueling cycle was 12 months. Now, U.S. nuclear units are either on an 18 or 24 month refueling cycle. If the nuclear reactor doesn't shutdown for maintenance, it will go the entire period supplying cheap, emission free electricity.

The longest operating period between refueling outages (scroll down to Plant Performance) by a light water reactor was Exelon's Peach Bottom 3 recorded last September at 707 days. LaSalle 1, also operated by Exelon, broke that record a couple of weeks ago and is still going. Watch for the headlines!

Technorati tags: , , , , , , ,

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

Why America Needs the MOX Facility

If Isaiah had been a nuclear engineer, he’d have loved this project. And the Trump Administration should too, despite the proposal to eliminate it in the FY 2018 budget.

The project is a massive factory near Aiken, S.C., that will take plutonium from the government’s arsenal and turn it into fuel for civilian power reactors. The plutonium, made by the United States during the Cold War in a competition with the Soviet Union, is now surplus, and the United States and the Russian Federation jointly agreed to reduce their stocks, to reduce the chance of its use in weapons. Over two thousand construction workers, technicians and engineers are at work to enable the transformation.

Carrying Isaiah’s “swords into plowshares” vision into the nuclear field did not originate with plutonium. In 1993, the United States and Russia began a 20-year program to take weapons-grade uranium out of the Russian inventory, dilute it to levels appropriate for civilian power plants, and then use it to produce…

Nuclear Is a Long-Term Investment for Ohio that Will Pay Big

With 50 different state legislative calendars, more than half of them adjourn by June, and those still in session throughout the year usually take a recess in the summer. So springtime is prime time for state legislative activity. In the next few weeks, legislatures are hosting hearings and calling for votes on bills that have been battered back and forth in the capital halls.

On Tuesday, The Ohio Public Utilities Committee hosted its third round of hearings on the Zero Emissions Nuclear Resources Program, House Bill 178, and NEI’s Maria Korsnick testified before a jam-packed room of legislators.


Washingtonians parachuting into state debates can be a tricky platform, but in this case, Maria’s remarks provided national perspective that put the Ohio conundrum into context. At the heart of this debate is the impact nuclear plants have on local jobs and the local economy, and that nuclear assets should be viewed as “long-term investments” for the state. Of course, clean air and electrons …