Skip to main content

NextEra Sets Record With 700-MW Power Uprate

NEI’s Top Industry Practice Awards recognize innovation in the nuclear energy industry. Presented at NEI’s annual conference, the awards honor accomplishments that help the industry improve safety, streamline processes and increase efficiency.

In a special series of articles this week, our publication Nuclear Energy Overview highlights the challenges and successes of five winners.


This year’s Westinghouse Combustion Engineering Award went to a gargantuan project—NextEra Energy completed the largest extended power uprate project in history, adding more than 700 megawatts of additional generating capacity across four reactors in Florida and two in Wisconsin.

With more than 30 million hours worked to complete the uprate, NextEra’s project called on a workforce of thousands, an economic boon to the communities that host the facilities.

Terry Jones, vice president of nuclear power uprates, stressed the importance of instilling in the workers the nuclear energy industry’s safety culture.

“They understand how we work, how we’re just absolutely fanatical when it comes to safety,” Jones said.

Much of the workforce was new to the nuclear industry, but extensive training, on-site coaching and daily feedback ensured the work was performed safely and efficiently.


A major workforce challenge was coordinating the logistics of so many workers.

“On any given day, you’re dealing with a workforce that’s in excess of 3,000, in addition to your normal plant staff,” Jones said. “You had to set up a traffic control just to be able to get the workforce to and from the sites in a safe manner.”

The benefits of an extensive workforce outweighed the challenges, however.

“We provided a tremendous amount of employment and economic benefit to the region. We were employing more than 3,500 workers on any given day on average, and about 50 percent of that workforce was Floridian,” Jones said.

He added that NextEra will see many long-term benefits from the uprates.

“You’ve got a more modern plant that will result in improved reliability. You’ve got fuel cost savings for the customer. You’ve got greater fuel diversification. You’re reducing CO2 emissions,” Jones said.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Sneak Peek

There's an invisible force powering and propelling our way of life.
It's all around us. You can't feel it. Smell it. Or taste it.
But it's there all the same. And if you look close enough, you can see all the amazing and wondrous things it does.
It not only powers our cities and towns.
And all the high-tech things we love.
It gives us the power to invent.
To explore.
To discover.
To create advanced technologies.
This invisible force creates jobs out of thin air.
It adds billions to our economy.
It's on even when we're not.
And stays on no matter what Mother Nature throws at it.
This invisible force takes us to the outer reaches of outer space.
And to the very depths of our oceans.
It brings us together. And it makes us better.
And most importantly, it has the power to do all this in our lifetime while barely leaving a trace.
Some people might say it's kind of unbelievable.
They wonder, what is this new power that does all these extraordinary things?

A Design Team Pictures the Future of Nuclear Energy

For more than 100 years, the shape and location of human settlements has been defined in large part by energy and water. Cities grew up near natural resources like hydropower, and near water for agricultural, industrial and household use.

So what would the world look like with a new generation of small nuclear reactors that could provide abundant, clean energy for electricity, water pumping and desalination and industrial processes?

Hard to say with precision, but Third Way, the non-partisan think tank, asked the design team at the Washington, D.C. office of Gensler & Associates, an architecture and interior design firm that specializes in sustainable projects like a complex that houses the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. The talented designers saw a blooming desert and a cozy arctic village, an old urban mill re-purposed as an energy producer, a data center that integrates solar panels on its sprawling flat roofs, a naval base and a humming transit hub.

In the converted mill, high temperat…

Seeing the Light on Nuclear Energy

If you think that there is plenty of electricity, that the air is clean enough and that nuclear power is a just one among many options for meeting human needs, then you are probably over-focused on the United States or Western Europe. Even then, you’d be wrong.

That’s the idea at the heart of a new book, “Seeing the Light: The Case for Nuclear Power in the 21st Century,” by Scott L. Montgomery, a geoscientist and energy expert, and Thomas Graham Jr., a retired ambassador and arms control expert.


Billions of people live in energy poverty, they write, and even those who don’t, those who live in places where there is always an electric outlet or a light switch handy, we need to unmake the last 200 years of energy history, and move to non-carbon sources. Energy is integral to our lives but the authors cite a World Health Organization estimate that more than 6.5 million people die each year from air pollution.  In addition, they say, the global climate is heading for ruinous instability. E…