Over the past few years, U.S. nuclear power plants have begun replacing their obsolete analog control systems with digital control systems. Many of these projects have been completed successfully, yielding a tidy return on investment in the form of increased generation. However, some have encountered difficulties, which resulted in cost overruns and schedule delays. This minority of projects may have eroded the industry’s confidence in digital upgrade projects, but a well-run project is still one of your best options for squeezing the last drop of performance out of your plant.
The U.S. is home to more than 30 boiling water reactors of BWR-3 through -6 vintage. At one time or another, all have experienced obsolescence, reliability, or control problems with their reactor recirculation flow control systems and components. Temporary down-powers are often required for corrective maintenance. Exelon Nuclear plans to begin upgrading the recirculation pump motor drives at its BWRs in the spring of 2009. The upgrade project’s technical design and business case were developed in great detail before the project was approved. This article presents the results of all key internal analyses.
Just under a year ago, Omaha Public Power District completed perhaps the most complex nuclear power plant renovation in the history of the industry in a scant 85 days—five fewer days than the original plan called for. POWER recognizes Fort Calhoun Nuclear Generating Station as a Top Plant for packing more work into one outage than was thought possible, and then executing the plan ahead of schedule and below budget.
Detroit Edison teamed with Washington Group International to complete a first-of-its-kind nuclear retrofit project: replacing two moisture separator reheaters during a single 35-day outage with a perfect safety record. POWER recognizes this significant accomplishment by naming Fermi 2 Power Plant a 2007 Top Plant.
A Luminant-Bechtel team completed replacement of four steam generators and the reactor vessel head—plus almost 200 other work packages—in a short, 55-day outage at Comanche Peak Unit 1. Matching or exceeding this schedule will become the goal for those who follow.
TVA’s 1,155-MW Browns Ferry Unit 1 returned to service on May 22 after sitting idle since 1985, when all three units were shut down to address management and operational concerns. Units 2 and 3 returned to service in 1991 and 1995, respectively, after extensive upgrades to controls, electrical systems, pumps, motors, and more. The return of Unit 1 began in 2002 with a five-year $1.8 billion restart plan to make all three units essentially identical, and that goal was accomplished in style. Welcome back, Unit 1.
The NERC auditors are coming / Winning encore for on-line pH monitoring / Using baloons as temporary barriers / How data logging can cut power bills
Constellation files partial COL / IAEA scrutinizes shaken Japanese nuke / Wave energy of the future? / New GE plant reigns in Spain / Solar house competition heats up / Oxygen-blown IGCC, at micro-scale / Turning corncobs into ethanol / Court blocks gas attack on coal project / New advanced energy initiatives / POWER digest
The recent restart of Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA’s) Brown’s Ferry Unit 1 following a five-year renovation brings to 104 the number of nuclear plants operating in the U.S. Their 100 gigawatts of capacity represent about 20% of the nation’s electricity supply. If American electricity demand doubles by 2030 (as the U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts), […]