Skip to main content

Bay City Cannonball Sets New Record

Two million electricity consumers in Texas and a neighborhood populated by eagles, falcons, hawks, and alligators may have heard a distant jingle, rumor, or roar Wednesday when STP unit 1 coasted into the station after an 18-month dash, its fifth consecutive "breaker-to-breaker production run," a new record for an American nuclear power reactor.

As she sped along in safety, her managers announced, the South Texas Project Electric Generating Station produced more energy the past five years than any other two-unit U.S. nuclear plant while holding her position in the top 10 percent of all U.S. nuclear stations for employee safety.

One more record for a nuclear plant already holding more honors, records, and awards than any other in the country.

Please join us in a well-deserved Friday toast to the team owners, Austin Energy, CPS Energy, and NRG Texas, and the entire crew aboard the Bay City.

Comments

perdajz said…
Nice job, Bay City.

Anyone out there an expert on the performance of coal or natgas power plants? Can they routinely operate at 100% capacity for 18 months at a time? I know the capacity factors for coal and natgas are lower, but this is sometimes for economic reasons, especially with natgas. Is it even at all possible for coal or natgas to compare with nukes on a performance metric like this? Or is my question just rhetorical?
KenG said…
Coal plants have improved in reliability in recent years and now average about 75% capacity factor. Coal plants have different maintenance requirements and schedules but it is generally not cost effective to build them with an aim at 100% capacity factor due to the high fuel cost relative to capital cost. A fossil fuel plant outage is not so expensive since the fuel cost is significant and is not incurred during outages.

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 …