Duke nuclear outages range from 34 to 76 days in 2H 2012

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) had refueling and maintenance outages at three different nuclear units during the second half of 2012.

The refueling and upkeep outages ranged from 34 days to 76 days, with the longest outage involving a major infrastructure project.

McGuire Unit 2 had a 76-day outage, which commenced on Sept. 15.  The McGuire outage was noticeably longer due to the installation of a new high pressure turbine, generator stator and two skids, a Duke spokesperson said in a Jan. 7 email to GenerationHub.

Meanwhile, Oconee Unit 1 had a 34-day outage that started Oct. 27 and Catawba 1 also had a 34-day outage that started Nov. 24.

McGuire, Oconee and Catawba are all multi-unit nuclear stations with total generating capacities that exceed 2,200 MW. Oconee has three units. All three stations employ pressurized water reactors.     

McGuire is located in Mecklenburg County, N.C. The Oconee complex is located in Oconee County, S.C. Catawba is located in York County, S.C.

All three stations typically refuel at 18-month intervals.

The outage figures do not include the extended outage at the Crystal River 3 nuclear plant in Florida. That unit has been offline since late 2009 and Duke should decide soon whether to attempt to repair the plant or replace its output with other generation sources.

 Duke says that since its July merger with Progress Energy it now has the largest fleet of regulated electric utility nuclear plants in the nation.


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.