NRC approves small power uprate for Harris nuclear plant

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved a request by Progress Energy to increase the power generating capacity of the Shearon Harris Nuclear Power Plant by 1.66%.

The power uprate for the pressurized-water reactor, located approximately 20 miles southwest of Raleigh, N.C., will increase its power generating capacity from approximately 900 to 930 megawatts electric.

The NRC staff’s careful evaluation determined that Progress could safely increase the reactors’ power output primarily through more accurate means of measuring feedwater flow. As part of its evaluation, NRC staff reviewed the company’s analysis showing the plant’s design can accommodate the increased power level.

The NRC’s safety evaluation of the plant’s proposed power uprate focused on several areas, including the nuclear steam supply systems, instrumentation and control systems, electrical systems, accident evaluations, radiological consequences, fire protection, operations and training, testing, and technical specification changes.

Progress intends to implement the uprate within 120 days of completing its spring 2012 refueling outage.

The NRC previously published a notice about the power uprate application in the Federal Register The agency’s evaluation of the Shearon Harris power uprate will be available through the NRC’s ADAMS electronic document database by searching for accession number ML11356A096, using the “Simple Search” tab.