Operators removed Calvert Cliffs Unit 2 in Maryland from service early the morning of Feb. 16 for a planned refueling outage, said Exelon (NYSE: EXC) in an announcement that same day.
While the unit is offline, technicians will replace nearly one-third of the reactor’s fuel and perform thousands of tests and preventive maintenance activities to keep the unit running safely and effectively for another two years. Most of this work cannot be performed while the unit is online.
“This year’s refueling outage represents Exelon’s continued investment in the future of safe and reliable operations at Calvert Cliffs,” said Site Vice President George Gellrich. “In addition to the thousands of safety inspections and preventative maintenance tasks underway this year, we are upgrading a host of key components that will help the station run more efficiently and effectively for many years to come.”
Calvert’s bi-annual Unit 2 refueling outage will bring an additional 1,500 highly trained technical workers to Southern Maryland. Calvert Cliffs is located on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay in Calvert County and is Maryland’s only nuclear energy facility. The station is home to two pressurized water reactors capable of generating 1,768 MW combined. Units 1 and 2 began commercial operation in 1975 and 1977, respectively.
Also, Exelon said Feb. 14 that operators at the Dresden Generating Station returned Unit 2 to full power operation the night of Feb. 13 following maintenance on a system that controls the water level in the reactor. While the unit was offline, plant personnel completed additional maintenance activities including replacing four relief valve actuators and other work that cannot be performed while the unit is operating. Unit 2 automatically shut down on Feb. 6, when the water level control system experienced a momentary power interruption.
Dresden Generating Station is approximately 60 miles southwest of Chicago. The station’s two nuclear units can produce more than 1,900 MW at full power. Dresden Unit 1, which began commercial operation in 1960 and was retired in 1978, has been designated a Nuclear Historic Landmark by the American Nuclear Society.
Exelon is one of the largest competitive U.S. power generators, with approximately 35,000 megawatts of owned capacity comprising one of the nation’s cleanest and lowest-cost power generation fleets. Exelon’s utilities deliver electricity and natural gas to more than 7.8 million customers in central Maryland (BGE), northern Illinois (ComEd) and southeastern Pennsylvania (PECO).