Dominion’s North Anna 1 returns to service while other units refuel

Dominion Resources (NYSE:D) has finished a regularly-scheduled refueling and maintenance outage at its North Anna 1 nuclear unit and will soon start a similar outage at its Surry 1 reactor.

Dominion is one of several nuclear plant operators that responded to GenerationHub requests for outage information Oct. 16. Typically, most U.S. nuclear units hold planned refueling outages every 18 months.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) normally posts a daily reactor status report, but that document is not being published since most NRC employees were furloughed as a result of the federal shutdown.

North Anna is a pressurized water reactor (PWR) with a nameplate capacity of roughly 980 MW. Surry is also a PWR with two units that each has a capacity of roughly 850 MW. Both North Anna and Surry are located in Virginia.

North Anna 1 returned to service and remained online Oct. 13. It had initially returned to service about three days before that but shut down automatically Friday afternoon Oct. 11 after reaching 48%.

The cause of the shutdown was a protection relay associated with a station service transformer that was not returned to its proper operational configuration. Service transformers are used at North Anna to move electricity from the grid to power electrical systems required for normal station operation.

In addition to the usual refueling chores, workers installed mechanical and electrical tie-in connections for hoses and external power supplies that could be used in a beyond-design basis emergency to provide cooling water and electricity to the facility.

Entergy (NYSE:ETR) said none of its nuclear units are currently in refueling outages. Likewise, a PPL spokesperson said that company does not currently have any units offline for refueling.

Duke has three nuclear units offline

Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) currently has three nuclear units offline for regularly-scheduled refueling outages.

Catawba 2 and Robinson 2 remain in scheduled refueling outages. Oconee 2 is also in a scheduled refueling outage, a spokesperson said.

Catawba 2 is a PWR with a generating capacity of more than 1,100 MW. Robinson 2 is a roughly 750-MW PWR. Oconee 2 is a roughly 850-MW PWR. All three stations are located in South Carolina.

Exelon (NYSE:EXC) has two units currently in planned refueling outages. Peach Bottom 3, which is an 1,100-MW boiling water reactor (BWR) in Pennsylvania, and Clinton, an 1,100-MW BWR in Illinois, are down for refueling.

“All of our other eight plants are operating at full power,” said an Exelon spokesperson.

A Southern (NYSE:SO) spokesperson said Farley Unit 1 is the only Southern Nuclear facility not currently operating. Farley 1 is a roughly 900-MW PWR in Alabama. It started its current refueling outage Sept. 29.

Beaver Valley 1, a roughly 900-MW PWR owned by FirstEnergy (NYSE:FE) in Pennsylvania, began its outage Sept. 30 and remains offline. Other FirstEnergy units are operating as normal, a company spokesperson said.

The American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP) D.C. Cook Unit 2 facility started its regular refueling outage Oct. 2 and remains offline, a spokesperson said. Cook 2 is a roughly 1,100-MW PWR located in Michigan. Cook 1 continues to run normally, the spokesperson said.

Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL) said its Prairie Island 2 unit in Minnesota remains offline. The 550-MW PWR unit started its regular refueling outage Sept. 21. Most refueling outages last from four-to-eight weeks, but this one is expected to run longer because of a steam generator replacement, Xcel has said.

No other Xcel Energy nuclear units are in outages, the spokesperson said.

A NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE) spokesperson said that St. Lucie Unit 1 in Florida remains in its refueling outage. St. Lucie 1 is a roughly 1,000-MW PWR.

A spokesperson for Pinnacle West Capital (NYSE:PNW) said Palo Verde Unit 2 in Arizona remains offline after starting its refueling outage Oct. 5. Palo Verde 2 is a roughly 1,350-MW PWR.

PG&E (NYSE:PCG) has Diablo Canyon Unit 2 operating at 100% but Diablo Canyon 1 is at 50% power while the company addresses a feed-water pump issue, a spokesperson said. Diablo Canyon 1 and 2 are both roughly 1,100-MW PWRs located in California.

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) said Oct. 15 that its Sequoyah 1 facility in Tennessee had just started its scheduled refueling outage. Sequoyah 2 will continue to operate like usual. Each Sequoyah unit is an 1,160-MW BWR.

The Public Service Enterprise Group (NYSE:PEG) began refueling its Hope Creek facility Oct. 11.

About 1,200 supplemental personnel along with in-house employees will perform more than 18,000 work activities at Hope Creek. Major work includes maintenance on one of the station’s vital electrical buses as well as one of the four emergency diesel generators used for emergency backup power. Other significant work includes replacement of feed-water heaters and inspection of a low pressure turbine.

Hope Creek is a single unit BWR in New Jersey with a net generation of 1,210 MW.

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.