LYCOMING, N.Y. – Early this morning (Sept. 16), control room operators removed Entergy’s James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant from service to begin its 20th refueling and maintenance outage after generating electricity safely for 700 consecutive days.
This marks the second consecutive time FitzPatrick has operated “breaker-to-breaker” (operating from one refueling outage to the next without needing to take the plant offline in between).
That means the plant has been on line every day for the past four years with the exception of two required outages to refuel and perform maintenance.
Since completing its last refueling and maintenance outage in October 2010, the plant produced more than 14 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity over its 700-day run. During the previous operating cycle, FitzPatrick achieved a site record by operating continuously for 702 days.
“Breaker-to-breaker operation is a significant accomplishment for any plant, but achieving it back-to-back over two consecutive operating cycles is truly a noteworthy accomplishment,” said Mike Colomb, Entergy’s site vice president at FitzPatrick.
“This achievement is the direct result of our workforce being committed to the safe and reliable operation of FitzPatrick through a focus on standards of excellence, equipment reliability, maintenance and continuous improvement and training.”
The upcoming work during the refueling and maintenance outage will be performed by FitzPatrick’s staff supplemented by Entergy employees from its other nuclear plants and contract workers, including pipefitters, boilermakers, electricians, laborers, valve technicians, engineers and radiation protection technicians.
“With the skill of the current employees and the knowledge and talent of the local union halls, I am confident this outage will be a success for FitzPatrick,” said IBEW Local 97 Business Representative Jim Yerdon.
The influx of more than 1,000 outside workers and their associated local spending provide a major economic boost to the community.
Workers will replace 196 fuel assemblies in the reactor and perform various maintenance activities, tests and inspections on plant equipment.
Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including more than 10,000 megawatts of nuclear power, making it one of the nation’s leading nuclear generators.
Entergy delivers electricity to 2.8 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $11 billion and approximately 15,000 employees.