SCANA says SC Summer reactor repair to add two weeks to outage
* Small cracks found and fixed in reactor vessel head * SCANA says cracks pose no danger to public, plant safe * Unit seen back in first or second week of December Nov 16 (Reuters) - South Carolina power company SCANA Corp found and repaired some small cracks on the reactor vessel at the 966-megawatt (MW) Summer nuclear power plant in South Carolina, which shut in mid-October for planned refueling. Fixing the cracks may have added about two weeks to the outage, SCANA spokesman Eric Boomhower told Reuters on Friday. He said the outage had originally been scheduled to last about 40 days. Based on that schedule, the plant should exit the outage in the first or second week of December. "The plant is absolutely safe and poses no safety concern to the public," Boomhower said, noting the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), which regulates the nuclear power industry, was fully aware of the work SCANA is doing. Boomhower said the cracks were very small - basically undetectable to the naked eye. He said the company used ultrasonic testing and other electronic means to find the cracks. During the refueling outage, the company performed a planned inspection of the reactor vessel head to find and, if needed, fix minor defects before they become bigger problems, Stephen Byrne, chief operating officer and president, Generation and Transmission, at SCANA's South Carolina Electric & Gas Co utility, said during the company's earnings call on Nov. 6. The reactor vessel head contains 66 penetrations which are mostly used to maneuver control rods in the reactor, Byrne said, adding that the company found that wells for four of those penetrations needed repairs. Byrne said an extensive robotic inspection of the reactor vessel showed there was no leakage from these areas as a result of the condition of the wells. Byrne said workers from Westinghouse, a nuclear engineering firm that supplied the Summer reactor, were helping SCANA fix the vessel. He said nuclear operators have successfully made these repairs at other nuclear facilities. Westinghouse is majority-owned by Japanese multinational Toshiba Corp. SCANA shut the Summer plant on Oct. 12 for a refueling outage to replace a third of the fuel in the reactor following an 18-month operating cycle. ---------------------------------------------------------- PLANT BACKGROUND/TIMELINE STATE: South Carolina COUNTY: Fairfield TOWN: Jenkinsville, about 25 miles (40 km) northwest of Columbia, the state capital OPERATOR: SCE&G OWNERS: - SCE&G (66.67 percent) - Santee Cooper (33.33 percent) CAPACITY: 966 MW UNIT: Westinghouse pressurized water reactor FUEL: Nuclear DISPATCH: Baseload COST: $1.3 billion TIMELINE: 1971 - SCE&G announces plans to build the plant 1984 - Unit begins commercial operation 2004 - NRC grants 20-year license extension for Unit 1 2008 - SCE&G and Santee Cooper file with NRC to build two new Westinghouse AP1000 reactors at Summer site. SCE&G says its 55 percent stake in the project would cost about $4.5 billion. Santee Cooper will own the other 45 percent 2008 - SCE&G signs an engineering, procurement and construction contract with Westinghouse, which is majority owned by Toshiba Corp, and Shaw Group for the new reactors 2010-2012 - Santee Cooper looks for partners for its share of the new reactors - Santee Cooper has signed letters of intent with Ohio's American Municipal Power and Mississippi's South Mississippi Electric Power Association to buy stakes in the reactor 2012 - NRC issues construction and operating license for new reactors 2017 - First new reactor to enter service 2018 - Second new reactor to enter service 2042 - Unit 1 license to expire
- North Korea says Kim's powerful uncle dismissed for 'criminal acts'
- Thai PM calls snap election, protesters press on |
- Protesters fell Lenin statue, tell Ukraine's president 'you're next'
- Singapore hit by rare outbreak of rioting, 27 arrested |
- Venezuela's Maduro to raise pressure on business after local vote