1:21:00 PM ET|
Duke Energy, Florida Power & Light
nukes found with reactor
NEW YORK, May 5
(Reuters) - Two huge Southeast nuclear power units owned by FPL
Group Inc. (nyse: FPL
and Duke Energy Co. (nyse: FPL
have been found with degraded reactor vessel head problems, the U.S.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Monday in an event notification
The two units, the 839
megawatt (MW) St Lucie 2 nuclear unit in Florida, which is owned by
FPL Group, and the 846 MW Oconee 3 unit in South Carolina, which is
owned by Duke Energy, are currently shut for refueling and
maintenance, and are not expected to pose any public health
One megawatt is enough
energy to power about 1,000 homes.
The reactor vessel head at the Oconee unit, shut
since about April 26, is scheduled for replacement during the
present outage, the company said previously. Oconee is currently
slated to return to the power grid in early
The St Lucie unit, which
has been shut since about April 20, was expected to return to
service in late May since typical refueling outages last about 30-35
Plant operators, however,
discovered a defect in reactor vessel head penetration on April 30.
The defect is described as an axial flaw, 0.28 inches deep and 0.96
On May 2, FPL
discovered a second flaw, 0.39 inches deep and 2.98 inches
No further information
was immediately available.
NRC ordered owners of all U.S. pressurized water reactors, like St
Lucie and Oconee, to inspect their reactor vessel heads after
discovering severe corrosion last year on FirstEnergy Corp.'s
Davis-Besse nuclear unit in Ohio.
Repairs have kept the Davis-Besse plant shut for
more than a year with the cost, including purchases of replacement
power from other generators, likely to top $400
Late last week, the
NRC met with managers of the giant South Texas nuclear power station
to discuss findings of boric acid deposits on the bottom of the
put the cost of the South Texas outage at about $5 million to $6
million and the plant is expected to remain out of service until at
least the end of the summer, several months past its original return
reactors account for 69 of the 103 working nuclear units in the U.S.
Copyright 2003, Reuters News