Skip to main content

Callaway Nuclear Plant Achieves First Breaker to Breaker Run

Well done!:
AmerenUE’s Callaway Nuclear Plant has achieved its first so-called "breaker-to-breaker run" after operating for 520 days without going out of service, according to a statement released by the St. Louis-based utility.

A breaker-to-breaker run is when a plant operates from one refueling to the next without going out of service. The plant is refueled every 18 months and must go offline during refueling.

...

The 1,190-megawatt plant generated 16 million megawatt hours of electricity - enough to power on average more than 857,000 households.
Welcome to the club.

Comments

Kirk Sorensen said…
Extremely impressive performance! Congratulations to the operations team!
Anonymous said…
I took 24 hours/day times 520 days times 1190 MWatts and got 14.8 MWhours. Does this plant run over capacity or do they have longer days?
Mike Cleary said…
In response to anonymous, the difference is due to the fact that the 1,090 MW figure is "net" capacity, which excludes power used to run the plant itself. The plant's "gross" capacity is 1,300 MW, and the 16 million MWH generated over the 520 day period was gross generation. In listing the capacity of each of its power plants, AmerenUE normally uses net capacity, so in describing Callaway as a 1,090 MW plant in its news release it used the net figure to be consistent with company fact sheets and other materials.
Mike Cleary said…
In my response, I meant to say 1,190 MW--not 1,090 MW.
Rod Adams said…
It is also possible to safely operate a steam plant at greater than 100% of rated electrical power capacity under certain environmental conditions.

If, for example, the cooling water runs several degrees colder than the design conditions, the electrical power output will increase without increasing reactor power. Rankine cycle efficiency is improved with lower heat sink temperatures.

We used to make sure to find some nice cold water when proving we could make "rated turns".

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…

Missing the Point about Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants

A group that includes oil and gas companies in Pennsylvania released a study on Monday that argues that twenty years ago, planners underestimated the value of nuclear plants in the electricity market. According to the group, that means the state should now let the plants close.

Huh?

The question confronting the state now isn’t what the companies that owned the reactors at the time of de-regulation got or didn’t get. It’s not a question of whether they were profitable in the '80s, '90s and '00s. It’s about now. Business works by looking at the present and making projections about the future.

Is losing the nuclear plants what’s best for the state going forward?

Pennsylvania needs clean air. It needs jobs. And it needs protection against over-reliance on a single fuel source.


What the reactors need is recognition of all the value they provide. The electricity market is depressed, and if electricity is treated as a simple commodity, with no regard for its benefit to clean air o…