About one-fifth of nation’s reactors currently offline

Dominion (NYSE:D) took its Surry 2 nuclear unit in Virginia offline April 20 for a regularly-scheduled scheduled refueling and maintenance outage.

The U.S. nuclear power industry’s spring refueling season continues in full force. According to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) morning report, about 20 of the nation’s 100 nuclear units are currently listed with zero generation – most of those units are in regularly-scheduled refueling outages.

At Surry 2, one third of the reactor fuel will be replaced with new fuel during the outage, and a number of routine maintenance activities are scheduled, Dominion said through a spokesperson. The work includes inspections of the reactor vessel and the heat exchangers that generate steam to turn the turbines.

Additionally, modifications are planned to implement upgrades in response to new industry standards that came from evaluation of the flooding problems at Fukushima in Japan.

Surry 2 is a 1970s vintage pressurized water reactor (PWR) with an operating capacity of roughly 800 MW.

The Surry outage is the second of four outages among Dominion-owned nuclear stations in 2014. Millstone’s unit 2 is currently in a refueling outage. North Anna 2 and Millstone 3 will be removed from service for refueling outages in the fall, the company spokesperson said.

Millstone is located in Connecticut while the other Dominion nuclear plants mentioned are located in Virginia.

Meanwhile in New Jersey, Public Service Enterprise Group (NYSE:PEG) brought its Salem 1 nuclear unit back online April 18 at roughly 4:35 p.m. Salem 1 has had to work through some problems that caused it to be taken offline. The Salem 2 unit remains in a refueling outage that started earlier this month. PSEG owns 57% of the Salem nuclear complex with Exelon (NYSE:EXC) owning the other 43%.

Salem 1 was commissioned in 1977 and Salem 2 in 1981. The units are PWRs, each with an operating capacity of more than 1,150 MW.

In the Midwest, NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE) said Point Beach Unit 2 in Wisconsin was returned to service on Friday, April 18, following a scheduled refueling outage that began on March 17.

As part of the planned refueling and maintenance outage, Point Beach employees and more than 650 supplemental workers replaced one-third of Unit 2’s fuel and performed routine maintenance and repair activities, a NextEra spokesperson said.

Point Beach 2 is a roughly 600-MW PWR that was commissioned in the 1970s. The facility is located in Manitowoc County, Wis.

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.