Progress to Restart Crystal River Nuclear Plant

5 January 2011 (Last Updated January 5th, 2011 18:30)

Progress Energy is preparing its Crystal River nuclear plant in Florida, US, to resume operations by the end of March 2011. The firm will begin to tighten tendons in a repaired section of the containment building wall at the plant, gearing up for the restart, according to Reuters.

Progress Energy is preparing its Crystal River nuclear plant in Florida, US, to resume operations by the end of March 2011.

The firm will begin to tighten tendons in a repaired section of the containment building wall at the plant, gearing up for the restart, according to Reuters.

The 838MW nuclear unit was closed in September 2009 to refuel and replace its giant steam generators. This work was originally expected to take three months. However, a gap discovered in the 42in-thick containment building wall, opened to allow the removal and replacement of the steam generators, has delayed the work and forced the company to buy replacement power to serve its 1.6 million Florida customers.

The gap was caused by initial work to release tension on the structural cables that reinforce the concrete wall, according to Progress.

Progress spokesman Mike Hughes said that the work to retighten 200 tendons will be completed in two steps.

Tests will be carried out to check that the containment building meets all safety standards and other tests related to the refueling and the new steam generators will be conducted.

The 3,151MW Crystal River station includes four coal units and a nuclear reactor.