Archive: O&M


Safety: Worker Health and Safety Now Top Priorities for Alabama Power

Employees of Alabama Power, a Southern Company subsidiary, routinely work near energized wires, intense heat, nuclear fuel, heavy equipment, moving vehicles, and pressurized equipment, as well as under other conditions that require exceptional safety attitudes and measures. Though it is vitally important to provide electricity to customers, neither company believes that doing so is worth […]


Coal Plant O & M: Condition Monitoring Cuts Mirant Mid-Atlantic’s Costs

Condition monitoring (CM) has become an increasingly important aspect of power plant maintenance philosophy. Today many utilities are using a variety of predictive maintenance (PM) techniques like CM to lower their operation and maintenance expenses. Over the years, gencos have developed a diverse collection of CM programs of various breadth, depth, and formality. All are […]


Storming the Gates

Visiting power plants is one of the perks of being a COAL POWER editor. Some plants are located in metropolitan areas; others are closer to east nowhere, especially those mine-mouth plants. Each is unique and worth the travel time to visit and meet plant staff.


The Coal Patrol: Court Rejects Industry Suit Targeting Miner Safety Rules

A federal appeals court has rejected a National Mining Association (NMA) suit seeking to throw out new regulations issued by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). The rules were to improve protection for miners in the wake of accidents at two West Virginia coal mines in January 2006 that killed 15. (See COAL POWER […]


Focus on O&M (December 2007) 

The web: Ideal for skills development / Upgrading a New Orleans pumping station / Turn plant failures into successes


Upgrade your BWR recirc pumps with adjustable-speed drives

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.


Focus on O&M (November 2007)

The NERC auditors are coming / Winning encore for on-line pH monitoring / Using baloons as temporary barriers / How data logging can cut power bills

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The Coal Patrol: Demand Growth — and Reliability — Are Still Supply-Limited

While noting marginal improvements since last year, America’s power reliability watchdog recently warned that the nation’s growing thirst for electricity will still far exceed planned increases in generation capacity over the next 10 years, and that reserve margins could dip below optimal levels within two or three years in California, the Rocky Mountain states, New […]


Tech Notes: Intelligent Sootblowing Needed to Keep Uprated Units Clean

The National Coal Council estimates that 40,000 MW of additional generating capacity is available to existing U.S. coal-fired plants simply by making efficiency improvements. Because decreases in production costs go straight to a plant’s bottom line, efficiency projects usually have short payback periods, especially if implemented in concert with mandatory environmental upgrades. One often-overlooked consequence […]