Pilgrim nuclear plant resumes generating electricity although ‘outage’ not yet over

The Entergy (NYSE:ETR) Pilgrim nuclear plant in Massachusetts was listed at 15% generation early May 22, according to data from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), although a plant spokesperson said the refueling outage is not yet completed.

“Right now, Pilgrim is still in its maintenance and refueling outage,” a company spokesperson said when contacted May 22. “Timing on when Pilgrim will return to the grid is business sensitive information that can’t be shared.”

Pilgrim, a boiling water reactor (BWR) unit with a generating capacity of more than 650 MW, had entered a refueling and maintenance outage on April 19. About 1,200 additional contract workers were brought in to assist with the Pilgrim refueling outage, according to Twitter postings by Entergy.

Along with the usual scheduled inspections and maintenance activities, workers were also expected to replace a feed water heater and complete several federally mandated post-Fukushima safety enhancements and modifications, according to Entergy.

Pilgrim is located in Plymouth, Mass. It began operation in 1972. In 2012, NRC approved a 20-year license extension for the nuclear plant, which allows Pilgrim to operate until 2032.

Entering the Memorial Day weekend, there were eight domestic nuclear units with zero generation on May 22. Most are undergoing scheduled refueling and upkeep outages. Entergy’s Indian Point 3 in New York remains idle after a turbine fire about two weeks earlier.

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.