New coils being installed at South Texas 2 reactor
HOUSTON, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Workers at the South Texas Project nuclear station in Texas are installing about three dozen stator coils in Unit 2, which automatically shut in late November due to a malfunction, an STP spokesman said on Monday. The unit's damaged rotor is being refurbished at a Siemens facility in North Carolina. The 1,280-megawatt STP unit 2 automatically shut Nov. 29 when the main generator malfunctioned due to a ground fault that likely occurred in one of the stator coils, officials at the South Texas Nuclear Operating Co. have said previously. The remaining stator coils, weighing from 800 to 1,000 pounds each, are expected to arrive at the station in Matagorda County in the next week or so from a fabrication facility in Alabama. The unit has 72 total stator coils, all of which are being replaced. The spokesman declined to say how long the repair work will take or when Unit 2 will be ready to return to service. "The process continues to move forward," said STP's Buddy Eller. "With the stator coils arriving on site, that is another key milestone." The Texas grid agency and regulators are closely watching the state's generating supply after a protracted heat wave in 2011 sent electric demand soaring, straining resources. The grid operator was forced to curtail power to some industrial customers on some days, but was able to avoid rolling outages. Unit 2 had returned to full power on Nov. 24, from a refueling outage when it tripped. Meanwhile, the 1,280-MW Unit 1 has continued operating at full power. ------------------------------------------------------------- PLANT BACKGROUND/TIMELINE STATE: Texas COUNTY: Matagorda TOWN: Bay City, 90 miles (145 km) south of Houston OPERATOR: STP Nuclear Operating Co OWNERS: NRG Energy, 44 percent; City of San Antonio's CPS Energy, 40 percent; City of Austin's Austin Energy, 16 percent CAPACITY: 2,700 MW UNITS: 1 - 1,280 MW pressurized water reactor 2 - 1,280 MW pressurized water reactor FUEL: Nuclear DISPATCH: Baseload TIMELINE: 1976 - Start of plant construction 1988 - Unit 1 enters commercial operation 1989 - Unit 2 enters commercial operation 2007 - NRG files license application to build two new Advanced Boiling Water Reactors (ABWR) at the site 2010 - STP files application to renew operating licenses for Units 1 and 2 for an additional 20 years 2011 - NRG ends investment in new reactors after Fukushima accident; COL process continues 2011 - Regulators approve amended ABWR design 2027 - Unit 1 license to expire unless renewed 2028 - Unit 2 license to expire unless renewed
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