Exelon issues progress report on nuclear uprates

Exelon (NYSE: EXC), the nation’s largest nuclear operator, recently provided a progress report on its longstanding plan to increase the generation capacity of its nuclear fleet through a series of power uprates.

Within the past couple of years, Exelon has announced a series of planned power uprates across its nuclear fleet that would result in between 1,175 MW and 1,300 MW at an overnight cost of approximately $3.3bn in 2012 dollars, of which approximately $850m has been spent through March 31 of this year. Overnight costs do not include financing costs or cost escalation.

Through March 31, Exelon Generation has added 250 MW of nuclear generation through its uprate program, with another 82 MW scheduled to be added during the remainder of 2012, Exelon said in a May 10 Form 10-Q quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Uprate projects, representing approximately 75% of the planned uprate capacity, are underway at the Limerick, Three Mile Island and Peach Bottom nuclear stations in Pennsylvania and the Byron, Braidwood, Dresden, LaSalle and Quad Cities plants in Illinois.

The remaining uprate MWs will come from additional projects across the Exelon Generation nuclear fleet beginning in 2012 and ending in 2017.

Within the past year, Exelon indicated it might revisit the wisdom of some of the longer-term uprate projects in the event that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission passed more restrictive regulations in the aftermath of the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan.

In the May 10 Form 10-Q, Exelon said it is doing a “periodic review and refinement” of the uprate effort on a project-by-project basis. “The ability to implement several projects requires the successful resolution of various technical issues,” Exelon said. “The resolution of these issues may affect the timing and amount of the power increases associated with the power uprate initiative.”

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.