FirstEnergy (NYSE:FE) has commenced its regularly-scheduled refueling and maintenance outage for the 943-MW Beaver Valley 2 nuclear unit in Shippingport, Pa.
The unit shut down at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday Sept. 26 for the outage, according to FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Co. (FENOC). More than 1,000 temporary contractor workers and FENOC and FirstEnergy employees will supplement the Beaver Valley workforce during the outage.
Fall refueling season now appears to be in full swing as 10 of the nation’s 99 nuclear power units were listed at zero generation early Sept. 28, according to Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) data.
While Beaver Valley 2 is offline, one-third of the 157 fuel assemblies will be replaced and numerous safety inspections will be conducted, including inspections of the unit’s reactor vessel head, turbine and electrical generator.
In addition, preventative maintenance to ensure continued safe and reliable operations will be performed on major components including the plant’s three steam generators, which convert super-heated water from the reactor to steam which turns the plant’s turbine to create electricity, as well as various pumps, motors, valves and the cooling tower.
FirstEnergy has previously announced plans to replace the Beaver Valley 2 steam generators in 2017.
Beaver Valley Unit 2 has operated safely and reliably, generating more than 10.8 million megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity since the completion of its last refueling in May 2014.
The outage does not affect Beaver Valley 1, which continues to generate power at 100%. Units 1 and 2 are both pressurized water reactors (PWRs). Both utilize the Ohio River as their water source. Beaver Valley 2 is the newer of the two reactors, being commissioned in 1987.
FirstEnergy is a diversified energy company headquartered in Akron, Ohio. Its FENOC subsidiary also operates the Perry nuclear plant in Perry, Ohio, and the Davis-Besse nuclear plant in Oak Harbor, Ohio.