FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company (FENOC) has started scheduled refuelling and maintenance outage programme at 908MW Davis-Besse nuclear power station in the US state of Ohio.
During refuelling and maintenance, FENOC will replace more than one-third of the plant's 177 fuel assemblies.
The company will also replace two of the four reactor coolant pump motors at the plant, which is shutdown.
The 50t and 9,000hp motors drive large pumps that are capable of pushing more than 100,000gal of water per minute through the reactor vessel, controlling reactor power and ensuring the fuel remains cooled.
FENOC will also carry out preventative maintenance and safety inspections on major components at the plant, which include pumps, valves, reactor vessel, steam generators and the cooling tower.
More than 1,000 temporary contractor workers and employees from FENOC and FirstEnergy will work along with the Davis-Besse workforce during the outage.
Davis-Besse received a 20-year licence extension from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in December last year. This work, along with the other outage inspections and preventative maintenance, will ensure the plant continues to operate safely and reliably during the period of extended operation.
The nuclear power plant has generated more than 14.5 million megawatt hours of electricity since completion of its last refuelling in May 2014.
Located 35 miles east of Toledo, Davis-Besse is the first nuclear power plant in the state. The plant produces 40% of the electricity used by residences, businesses and industries in north-western Ohio.
Image: Davis-Besse is the first nuclear power plant in Ohio. Photo: courtesy of Nuclear Regulatory Commission.