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Refueling outage begins at TVA's Browns Ferry 3


From the February 24, 2014 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published February 24, 2014

The Tennessee Valley Authority’s Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant Unit 3 in Alabama has begun a scheduled refueling and maintenance outage that will prepare the unit to generate electricity for the next two years.

Browns Ferry Unit 3 was taken offline Feb. 14 to begin refueling for its 16th operating cycle. Units 1 and 2 will continue to generate electricity.

During the outage, 288 fuel assemblies will be replaced — roughly one third of the reactor core. In addition, maintenance on key equipment and systems will be performed, including work that cannot be done while the unit is online, TVA said.

More than 900 TVA and contract employees will supplement the site’s regular staff.  In total, about 181,000 work-hours are scheduled during the refueling and maintenance outage.

TVA said it is "committed to improving equipment reliability and operating margins across the nuclear fleet." The utility noted that all six TVA nuclear reactors generated electricity at or near full power during a severe cold spell in January.

The Browns Ferry plant reached a milestone on Dec. 14, 2013, when it marked 223 consecutive days of online operation by all three units. The Unit 3 outage ended a consecutive run of more than 351 days for that unit.

At maximum summer capacity, the three reactors at the Browns Ferry plant generate a combined 3,300 megawatts of electricity, TVA said. That is 10 percent of the utility's generation capacity and enough electricity to power more than 2 million homes.

 

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