A 1,350-MW pressurized water reactor that has been out of service since late November because of a generator problem is expected to resume operation by the end of April, an STP Nuclear Operating Co. spokesperson said April 5.
Unit 2 of the South Texas Project nuclear plant went offline around Nov. 29 due to a problem on the non-nuclear side of the plant, the spokesperson said. The trip occurred the same month that the reactor unit had finished a regularly-scheduled refueling and maintenance outage.
Since late November, the unit’s 200-ton rotor has been “completely refurbished,” with much of the work done at a Siemens plant in Charlotte, N.C. STP staff representatives monitored the work that occurred at Charlotte and other off-site locations, the spokesperson said.
The South Texas representative said he did not currently have a cost estimate for the unplanned outage. A mild winter probably blunted the impact of the outage, he said.
The dual-unit South Texas Project nuclear complex near Bay City, Texas, began operation in the late 1980s. STP Nuclear Operating is held by a trio of owners: NRG Energy (NYSE: NRG) (44%), San Antonio’s CPS Energy (40%) and Austin Energy (16%).
A few years ago NRG spearheaded a joint venture to develop a third unit at the nuclear complex. One of NRG’s partners in that effort was Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO). The South Texas 3 partners effectively gave up on their plans for a new unit after the meltdown occurred at TEPCO’s Fukushima-Daiichi plant in Japan in March 2011.