Clinton nuclear plant completes super-short refueling

Exelon (NYSE:EXC) operators have returned the Clinton nuclear plant in Illinois to full power on Monday, May 30, ending a refueling outage that began May 15 and setting a new U.S. record for the shortest refueling outage for a boiling water reactor at 11 days.

Exelon had resumed partial generation on May 26.

Exelon has said this could be its final refueling outage for the Clinton nuclear plant, which it will retire by June 1, 2017, if Illinois lawmakers fail to promptly pass legislation to help distressed nuclear units.

Likewise, Exelon has said the Quad Cities nuclear plant could be retired in mid-2018. Like Clinton, Exelon has said that it is losing money on Quad Cities.

“The future of the legislation proposed to keep Clinton and Quad Cities operating long-term – the Next Generation Energy Plan – is unclear,” an Exelon spokesperson said June 1. “We’ll have more to say on the path forward within the next few days,” the spokesperson added.

The previous record for the quickest refueling outage was set by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Browns Ferry (Alabama) Unit 3 at 14.5 days, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute, an industry group which tracks such nuclear industry data.

Clinton Power Station is a boiling water reactor (BWR) facility located approximately six miles east of Clinton. The plant produces 1,069 MW at full power – enough electricity to power about one million typical homes.

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.