Entergy has announced that the 838MW James A FitzPatrick nuclear power plant in New York has returned to full service after having been shut down for 45 days for refuelling and maintenance.
During the outage, about one-third of the reactor’s fuel was replaced alongside upgrading of equipment and upkeep to help make the plant ready for continued safe operation.
The plant was scheduled to shut down in January this year, but Exelon Generation agreed to buy it. A condition of this deal was that Exelon would also purchase new fuel for the reactor.
Exelon Generation's operations senior vice-president Chris Mudrick said: “We are looking forward to operating the FitzPatrick plant.
“It was encouraging to see Exelon’s technicians working side-by-side with FitzPatrick’s plant employees. This outage was important because it meant preserving hundreds of full-time jobs, not only at the plant but in the community.”
Both the companies worked to plan and execute the refuelling and maintenance programme.
Late last year, the New York State Public Service Commission and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the transfer of ownership of FitzPatrick to Exelon, saving nearly 600 jobs at the plant. Entergy is expecting a Nuclear Regulatory Commission ruling soon on the transfer of the plant’s operating licence and decommissioning trust fund to Exelon.
Nuclear Matters stated: “Typically refuelling outages bring in up to 2,000 additional workers.
“In the case of FitzPatrick, more than 1,000 workers, many from the skilled trades in Central New York, Albany, and the Finger Lakes regions, joined the 600 plant personnel in the refuelling effort.”