Skip to main content

Outage Season Buttresses Nuclear Energy's Unmatched Reliability

Replacing the old steam generator at Unit 2.
Earlier today, Unit 1 at Xcel Energy's Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Station went offline after a record 644-day non-stop run. But in order to match that record or beat it next time, the 550-megawatt reactor will now head into a scheduled refueling outage to make sure the plant is ready to provide power during what is projected to be a harsh winter.

To get a better idea of what a refueling outage looks like, you might want to review a photo album we posted online earlier this year with a wide selection of photos from around the industry - including a shot from Prairie Island's Unit 2 when it replaced one of its steam generators. The album was part of a larger package on nuclear reliability that we originally posted over the summer. We also ought to point folks back to an interview we did last November with Curtis Wilson, who tweets under the moniker of the "Nuke Roadie." In the spring and fall, it's the efforts of outage workers like Wilson who make sure nuclear plants are running at or near 100% capacity when demand is highest in the summer and winter months.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Congrats to the folks at PI for a great run. PI has always been a great plant.

Bob Fraser
Anonymous said…
I concur whole heartedly with Bob Fraser's PI atta boy!

Bill Brennan
Anonymous said…
To all at PINGP congrates and thanks for demonstrating that with the right people and processes, nuclear plants can achieve remarkable reliability.

Mike Wadley

Popular posts from this blog

Making Clouds for a Living

Donell Banks works at Southern Nuclear’s Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4 as a shift supervisor in Operations, but is in the process of transitioning to his newly appointed role as the daily work controls manager. He has been in the nuclear energy industry for about 11 years.

I love what I do because I have the unique opportunity to help shape the direction and influence the culture for the future of nuclear power in the United States. Every single day presents a new challenge, but I wouldn't have it any other way. As a shift supervisor, I was primarily responsible for managing the development of procedures and programs to support operation of the first new nuclear units in the United States in more than 30 years. As the daily work controls manager, I will be responsible for oversight of the execution and scheduling of daily work to ensure organizational readiness to operate the new units.

I envision a nuclear energy industry that leverages the technology of today to improve efficiency…

Nuclear: Energy for All Political Seasons

The electoral college will soon confirm a surprise election result, Donald Trump. However, in the electricity world, there are fewer surprises – physics and economics will continue to apply, and Republicans and Democrats are going to find a lot to like about nuclear energy over the next four years.

In a Trump administration, the carbon conversation is going to be less prominent. But the nuclear value proposition is still there. We bring steady jobs to rural areas, including in the Rust Belt, which put Donald Trump in office. Nuclear plants keep the surrounding communities vibrant.

We hold down electricity costs for the whole economy. We provide energy diversity, reducing the risk of disruption. We are a critical part of America’s industrial infrastructure, and the importance of infrastructure is something that President-Elect Trump has stressed.

One of our infrastructure challenges is natural gas pipelines, which have gotten more congested as extremely low gas prices have pulled m…

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 …