Hatch Unit 2 returns to service after refueling outcome

Unit 2 of the Edwin I. Hatch Electric Generating Plant near Baxley, Ga., has safely resumed generating electricity following completion of a scheduled refueling and maintenance outage, Southern (NYSE:SO) said March 16.

Plant operators safely took the unit offline on Feb. 9. Electricity production resumed on Saturday, March 14 at 7:08 p.m. ET. As Unit 2 returns to full power, operators will perform a sequence of fuel rod pattern adjustments. Fuel rod pattern adjustments are required in boiling water reactors following deep down powers and outages to ensure the most efficient use of nuclear fuel.

In addition to refueling the reactor and performing regular maintenance and testing, workers made upgrades to plant systems and components to enhance efficiency and reliability.

“Safety is our top priority, and our team is to be commended for completing this outage safely and efficiently,” said Plant Hatch Vice President David Vineyard. “The work we perform during our outages is a significant investment in our facility. Unit 2 is positioned not just for the next 24 months, but for years of continued safe and reliable electricity production.” 

Employees from across the Southern Nuclear fleet assisted Hatch’s staff of more than 900 in the refueling effort. Approximately 1,500 additional workers from General Electric, Williams, Westinghouse and AREVA and other partners performed specialized tasks. These supplemental workers provided economic stimulus to surrounding communities during their stay in the area.

The last refueling outage for Unit 2 was completed in spring 2013. Hatch Unit 1 continued to safely generate electricity while Unit 2 was offline for the refueling.