Oconee 1 resumes full power in South Carolina after fire

The Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) Oconee 1 nuclear unit in South Carolina is back at full power after being offline roughly three weeks due to a fire.

Unit 1 was listed at 100% power generation in daily Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) data on March 31. The unit had been listed at zero power as recently as March 28.

Oconee Unit 1 was forced offline as the result of a fire that occurred during the afternoon of March 6. The fire happened in the Unit 1 main transformer building.

A report filed with NRC following the event indicated that the fire had damaged an overhead power line that supplies emergency power to all three units at Oconee.

Units 2 and 3 continued to run during the Unit 1 outage.

“After replacement of the transformer and reparation of all damaged lines, operators began powering up unit 1” on March 29, said a Duke spokesperson. “We are now at 100%.” 

“We had a backup transformer already on site, so we were able to quickly and safely make the switch in short order,” the spokesperson said.

Each of the pressurized water reactor (PWR) units has a summer operating capacity of roughly 850 MW. The Oconee plant, operated by Duke, is located near Seneca, S.C., about 30 miles west of Greenville.

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.