Five nuclear units offline as fall refueling season gets underway

According to Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) data, five of the 99 units in the domestic nuclear power fleet were offline early Sept. 14 as some reactors begin their autumn refueling and maintenance outages.

But at least one outage, the DTE Energy (NYSE:DTE) Fermi 2 nuclear plant in Michigan, was unplanned. Fermi 2 went offline late Sept. 13 due to a “manual scram” that was initiated in response to a loss of all Turbine Building Closed Cooling Water (TBCCW),” according to an NRC event report.

In addition to Fermi 2, it appears that during the weekend the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Sequoyah 1 facility, Exelon (NYSE:EXC) Byron 1 in Illinois, and the Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) McGuire 2 nuclear unit in North Carolina went offline over the weekend.

The NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE) St. Lucie 2 facility in Florida was already offline.

An Exelon spokesperson confirmed that Byron 1 went offline for a planned maintenance outage. The facility operates on an 18-month refueling cycle.

Nuclear plants tend to schedule their refueling and maintenance activity during the spring and fall shoulder seasons when electric demand tends to be lower.

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.