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Florida Power & Light (FPL) is celebrating the completion of a major five-year upgrade program that has added over 500 MWe of capacity to four reactors at its Turkey Point and St Lucie sites.

The uprates are the result of a 5-year major engineering project.

Turkey Point 4 was the last of the units to undergo an extended power uprate: work was completed at Turkey Point 3 and St Lucie 1 and 2 in 2012. The overall project was initially projected to add a total of 399 MWe, but according to FPL it surpassed that mark by end of 2012, and it is now estimated that the major engineering work at the plants will add around 30% more capacity than originally projected. The power increase has been achieved through significant upgrades to plant systems and components, including feedwater pumps and high-pressure turbines.

FPL President Eric Silagy put the achievement into context: "By increasing the amount of power that our nuclear plants can generate, this investment added the equivalent of a new, medium-sized power plant to Florida's generation fleet, without having to build one."

FPL says its investment in the uprate was made possible by the state of Florida's nuclear cost recovery framework, enabling it to pay off some of the development and interest costs associated with the project prior to completion of work at the plant, in term enabling the utility to keep long-term costs down.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (13+ / 0-)

    Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

    by davidwalters on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 09:02:31 AM PDT

  •  That's to bad. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, boran2, S F Hippie
  •  Unfortunately. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis, S F Hippie
  •  Well, at least it's not in an area of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    S F Hippie

    seismic activity.  I guess we'll see what a Katrina-style hurricane will do to it.

    Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

    by corvo on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 09:16:52 AM PDT

    •  Andrew 1992 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alain2112, psilocynic

      Was a CAT 5 and the plant almost took a direct hit.  The 'cane laid waste to nearby Homestead, FL but Turkey Point suffered mostly superficial damage.

      "And once again, the forces of niceness and goodness have triumphed over the forces of evil and rottenness." --Maxwell Smart

      by emobile on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 10:48:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The big problem there is with a potential (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        psilocynic, emobile

        station blackout. That is: the grid goes down due to high winds and the plant is required to use diesel backup. This happens ever few years someplace when an area wide black out occurs. Power is always restored in a few days.

        The issue is where the diesel fuel supplies and/or reactor cooling pump(s) are somehow made inoperable. This is what happened with Fukushima. Thus the industry has developed but protocol and engineering solutions to solve this potential events (including, but not exclusively, hardening of pumps and fuel tanks, relocation* of fuel tanks, extra portable diesel fuel pumps with own source of fuel, etc etc).

        * compare location of TEPCO sited at-the-waters-edge fuel storage tanks at Fukushima to Diablo Canyon's up-on-the-hill-behind-the-plant storage tanks.

        Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

        by davidwalters on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 10:55:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Station Black-out (0+ / 0-)

          I've always had a hard time figuring out why nuclear power plants aren't allowed to use the very power they're generating to run all the other auxiliary equipment in the plant.  Why do they have to rely on power brought in from elsewhere?  You would think that the power they were generating would be the most reliable inside the station.  

          •  This is a function of the turbine, Jaguarpete. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            northstarbarn, psilocynic, emobile

            Turbines have minimum steam flow lower limits. Usually about 15 to 25% of maximum load depending on type and size. So this % is way and above the minium load of the unit.

            A 1150MW gross output plant uses something like 50MWs for it's station use. Or slightly under 5% of the total output. This is fine when the reactor is outputting say it's permitted minimum of, say, 450MWs but can't be achieved give my guestimated minimum load of 15% or 160MWs.

            So that's the basic reason. Excellent question BTW.

            Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

            by davidwalters on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 12:16:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  In other news... (10+ / 0-)

    ...the fear and ignorance associated with Fukushima by people who care not a whit about the 3.3 million people who die each year from air pollution, has caused the cloture of nuclear plants in two major industrial nations, and has accelerated the collapse of the planetary atmosphere to unprecedented levels.

    We are on a course in 2013 to exceed 2012 for the second worst year ever recorded at Mauna Loa, and is also on track to exceed 1998 - when the rote anti-nuke Joe Romm was running the climate office - as the worst year ever.

    I've been reviewing the data weekly.   February 2013, and March 2013 were the worst February and March ever recorded for increases in dangerous fossil fuel waste over the same months in the previous year.

    The good news is that I won't be able to make that Joe Romm joke anymore, because 2013 will be the worst year ever.   The bad news is stuff like famines, floods, mass extinctions, etc, but that's minor compared to the joy of not having that joke around anymore.

    This week we're at 398.41 ppm.   At this rate, we're likely to exceed 400 ppm this year.

    I'd like to take this opportunity to thank our wonderful anti-nuke friends for pointing out that someone someday might die from Fukushima and also to congratulate them on their grand, if literally pyrrhic, victory.

    Heckuva job.

    There is nothing that nuclear energy, the best form of primary energy ever discovered, can do at this point.    Fear and ignorance have won.    But thanks for telling us about this tiny finger in the dike, even if the dike is broken everywhere else.

    •  I guess you're ok with burying (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the waste in your backyard.

      "I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now." -B. Dylan

      by S F Hippie on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 10:11:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am. Bring it on! (6+ / 0-)

        Waste from nuclear power plants would be, if I were a cynical SOB, what I'd put out there to distract anti-nukes from real issues with problems around nuclear energy. No one has died from nuclear waste from a nuclear power plant, not even at Chernobyl, not even from Fukushima, despite pages of lies here on the DK that the "Fuel Ponds are on fire!". Didn't happen, ever.

        High Level Waste can and is recycled. Not in the US, but in smarter, more energy consciousness nations like France and Russia (and soon to be S. Korea and China).

        Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

        by davidwalters on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 10:16:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Nuclear waste is bad... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        psilocynic, alain2112, antooo, Roadbed Guy

        ...but it's not as bad as global warming.

        I say, go heavy on the nukes. Maybe in the next 500 years, we can find a way to deal with the waste. If not, we just have to sit on it.

        But global warming is really bad. Most risks are unknown, and the ones we do know look nasty.

      •  Absolutely. Unlike the dangerous fossil fuel (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Roadbed Guy, northstarbarn

        waste that all of our anti-nukes dump into the flesh of human beings and other species, killing according to the World Health Organization 3.3 million people per year, used nuclear fuel hasn't killed a single fuckng person in this country in almost 60 years of commercial operation, unless you count all the coal, oil and gas burned by scientifically illiterate anti-nukes to run servers to post rhetoric claiming that used nuclear fuel is - at least in their imaginations - dangerous.

        I would be very pleased to work with used nuclear fuel.  I regard it as a precious resource, although I do recognize that the vast majority of humanity is too stupid to get it, and thus we will all - the innocent and the guilty alike - suffer the consequences.

        The famous climate scientist Jim Hansen - who ironically is admired by dumb anti-nukes here apparently because they are uninterested in what he says as opposed to their fantasies about what he says - has recently written that nuclear energy saves lives, by his accounting, 1.84 million over its current lifetime.

        In the current issue of the scientific journal Environmental Science and Technology he writes:

        Mortality. We calculate a mean value of 1.84 million human deaths prevented by world nuclear power production from1971 to 2009 (see Figure 2a for full range), with an average of76 000 prevented deaths/year from 2000 to 2009 (range 19000−300 000). Estimates for the top five CO2 emitters, along with full estimate ranges for all regions in our baseline historical scenario, are also shown in Figure 2a. For perspective, results for upper and lower bound scenarios are shown in Figure S1(Supporting Information). In Germany, which has announced plans to shut down all reactors by 2022 (ref 2), we calculate that nuclear power has prevented an average of over 117 000deaths from 1971 to 2009 (range 29 000−470 000). The large ranges stem directly from the ranges given in Table 1 for the mortality factors
        Jim Hansen: Prevented Mortality and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Historical and Projected Nuclear Power

        In my experience, there are zero anti-nukes who have ever opened a science book, never mind a scientific journal.

        That's a shame, because according to Hansen, with modest nuclear investments, we could save another 7 or 8 million lives in short order simply by expanding nuclear power by modest amounts.

        The subtext is, reading between the lines, that anti-nukism is murder.

        But nuclear energy will not be allowed to save lives; it will not be expanded.  The fear and ignorance of the anti-nuke cults have won the day.   Please see my original post describing what their ignorance and the associated deadly waste dumping that anti-nukism has done to the planetary atmosphere.

        Congratulations anti-nuke.   You must be very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very proud.

        Have a wonderful evening.

  •  guess they can (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    S F Hippie

    Use the power to run pumps when Florida has to build dikes to keep the ocean from drowning those plants.

    •  Plants are far better protected than.. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      psilocynic, Gary Norton, alain2112

      farms (of the ag or energy type).

      Turkey Point has suffered under a dozen huge hurricanes and come off none the worse for it. Even the biosphere security zone surrounding it where the greatest concentration of crocodiles in Florida...who love the cooling canals the plant provides, have survived.

      Anywhooooo.... the uprates are quite significant over the years, 20 to be exact, the US had added equivalent of a dozen or so new nuclear power plants without building a single one.

      Turkey Point has applied to build 2 AP1000s.


      Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

      by davidwalters on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 09:40:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's not the hurricanes (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        S F Hippie

        we should be worried about, it's the warming of their cooling water.

        •  Ah...someone is thinking. I like it. (5+ / 0-)

          Not to be condescending Foraker, but that could in theory be an issue most ignore. It is not as big an issue perse as one might think.

          I'm an experienced power plant operator and cooling water temperatures ARE vitally important, but not in the way you might think. It's not an 'on/off' switch that somehow dictates whether one can run a plant, nuclear or otherwise, or not.

          There are two areas where this is important: the turbine itself which like all steam plants needs vacuum for the steam to condense into and, in the case of nukes alone, water for the pools.

          The only effect on the former is that load could be curtailed, meaning that if a plant is rated at, say, 1150MWs (using an AP1000 as an example) that for ever degree over, say, 75 F. the unit would be curtailed say, 3MWs. Sea water itself has not gone though roof in terms of even the warm gulf waters that flow past Turkey Point. It is not an issue and units, such as these new ones being proposed, can be engineered to handle higher temps.

          The cooling ponds for a few of the fuel load changes simply need to have water available, which is actually a simpler process than maintaining vacuum on the low end of the turbine. The water flow isnt' that great and the temperatures of the spent fuel are pretty low. The idea is that all one had to do is keep water in the tanks, which is easy assuming your tanks are not 100 feet in the air and have some sort of pumps, even small flow pumps, available.

          Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

          by davidwalters on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 10:13:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I never understood... (0+ / 0-)

            ...the water problems with nuclear plants.

            If the energy is so cheap, can't the water just be refrigerated using power from the plant? This would change hot water (bad) into hot air (won't be noticed in Florida!)

            If more water is needed, can it be gotten from the air?

            •  Ummm...way too much energy involved. there is the (0+ / 0-)

              issue of energy invested and one's energy return on the investment. You not only need a net surplus of energy but a significant one at that to make any energy source viable and useful.

              Air as such can, and is used, via cooling towers, to cool turbines but there is a larger net loss of water to evaporation when this is used.

              Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

              by davidwalters on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 10:50:32 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  When has this been a problem? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          psilocynic, alain2112

          Other than that time in France when the ambient temperature of the water exceeded the temperature at which the power plant was allowed to discharge it?

          IOW, the water was fine for cooling purposes, it was just too damn hot outside.  You know, due to global warming, which is actually dampened by the use of nuclear power . . ..

        •  not all bad, actually (0+ / 0-)

          The consistently warm water turns out to be pretty decent habitat for endangered species which can be sensitive to cold shock: Link

  •  Next up: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    S F Hippie, emobile, Rob Dapore

    Celebrating the many achievements of BP.  

    I'm not always political, but when I am I vote Democratic. Stay Democratic, my friends. -The Most Interesting Man in the World

    by boran2 on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 09:36:36 AM PDT

  •  How are they getting (0+ / 0-)

    the extra 'trons? Did they buy some used bigger parts from the nuclear flea market? The Shearon-Harris plant outside Raleigh got a great deal on a slightly used stator on Siemens' used market from Three Mile Island's mothballed unit-2 a few years ago. Gained all of 5 MW, but got to sell their old one to a plant farther west for which it would be a big power boost if they can burn hotter fuel. Buying and selling used reactor plant parts is a great way to save money, especially if your local utilities commission allows you to charge for 'new' replacement parts ahead of time.

    Of course, some of the new-new parts aren't all that great either. Ask SCE over at San Onofre about that, as they've got some experience with replacement steam generators.

    Or has the Turk been cleared to burn MOX fuel? It's hotter, so they can get more bang for the enriched fuel buck. Maybe brand new used parts AND plutonium fuel?

    What could possibly go wrong?

    •  As Usual, Complete Lack of Reality (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alain2112, psilocynic

      Advice to all readers: Joieau has no clue what (s)he is talking about.  

      Larger generators are available from generator manufacturers and existing equipment can undergo modifications to allow it to produce more power.  Following sound engineering principles they were able to increase their power output.  And the NRC had to approve all of it before they did it.

      Using MOX (Mixed Oxide fuel) does not, inherently change what a reactor can produce and in fact has nothing to do with this issue.  Turkey Point is NOT going to use MOX.  

      At all times, power has to be limited in reactors to values that ensure that the emergency core cooling systems (ECCS) are capable of handling.  Upgrades to ECCS and other equipment can allow plants to safely uprate their output (with NRC concurrence and permission).

      Most nuclear plants around the country have safely increased their output through processes similar to what Turkey Point and St. Lucie have done.

      Someday soon Republicans are going to drown Grover Norquist - in a bathtub.

      by nuketeacher on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 11:20:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  LOL!!! (0+ / 0-)

        Aw, you act as if someone, somewhere, might now wonder if this Turkey got its new pieces-parts from the used nuclear parts flea market or something. Since I asked and all. Or might be burning the hotter fuel for the 'tron gain being bragged about. Big, Bad Joieau! Ooooh, scary!


        Thanks for the chuckle. Nobody who has actually worked in the nuclear industry can be expected to know anything about the technology, much less ask simple questions nukes don't like to answer. Hell, next thing you know people might start grousing about the fact that they're in the potential dead zone next time an oops spews deadly-for-thousands-of-years filth because they can't turn the damned thing off once they've turned it on. Which, btw, is Greg Jaczko's reason for saying publicly they all ought to be shut down. What would he know, eh? He was just the chair of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission until his industry-bought colleagues decided he was too dangerous to allow once we saw what happens when you can't turn 'em off...

        Comedy of Errors indeed.

        •  You mean he was sabotaging a technology and lying (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          alain2112, psilocynic

          about it? That "Chairman"? He had no business being chair of the NRC anymore than a vegan should be chair of FDA inspections of meat packing houses. Now he can go and work full time for NIRS without looking back.

          Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

          by davidwalters on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 12:19:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Heh. (0+ / 0-)

            I actually know a vegan who has tenure as professor of slaughter (or some such ridiculous title) at a state college in Oklahoma. You know, all the nifty details of getting an unfortunate animal from knocker to meat counter at your local grocery store. She could no doubt handle the FDA job just fine, probably trained more than a handful of future FDA inspectors in her time.

            I realize y'all don't like Jaczko, but that in no way alters any facts of his tenure or his qualifications for the job. Nukes aren't very popular these days, you'll have this whenever people are graphically reminded that this technology is and always was more about WMDs than "clean, safe, too cheap to meter." Even the recently ex-CEO of Exelon admits they aren't worth the cost or the bother anymore. GE's out of the business now, so is Siemens. There's no way to cure what ails nuclear power, Jaczko's absolutely right about that whether you like it or not. The smart money's going elsewhere.

  •  We can see coal companies' many supporters here (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ozy, psilocynic, Roadbed Guy

    I am always a little disheartened to see just how many people seem to support continued reliance on fossil fuels.  I guess people would rather see coal continue to generate electricity while we build our renewable energy infrastructure, even though coal plants release more radioactivity than nuclear plants under normal operations and kill far more people .

    Touch all that arises with a spirit of compassion

    by Mindful Nature on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 10:59:50 AM PDT

  •  Kraftwerk said it best (0+ / 0-)

    Stop radioactivity.

    "Reality has a well-known liberal bias." - Stephen Colbert

    by Rob Dapore on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 01:07:43 PM PDT

  •  A shout-out from Canada (4+ / 0-)

    Bruce Power has brought reactors back online previously laid-up for refurbishment.  All units are working today, the first time since 1996, bringing the total up to 5,500MW of low-cost juice to the grid (with 8 reactors operating it is now the largest nuke facility in the western hemisphere).  Thanks to Bruce Power and 8 more CANDU units up at Pickering and Darlington, Ontario's grid is currently running 91% CARBON FREE at the time of writing (65% nuclear, 23% hydro and 3% wind).  

    THAT is how we celebrate Earth Day here in Ontario, with work that actually DELIVERS results in slashing emissions with a nearly zero-carbon grid! We now have to do something about Alberta's emissions re tar sands...

    The intrinsic nature of Power is such that those who seek it most are least qualified to wield it.

    by mojo workin on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 05:24:34 PM PDT

    •  Right on, Mojo! (0+ / 0-)

      Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

      by davidwalters on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 08:02:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And that's quite an accomplishment given that (0+ / 0-)

      the Nanticoke coal plant used to be one of the worst polluters in North America.

      Writing in all lower-case letters should be a capital offense

      by ebohlman on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 01:46:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Too bad you could have bought a LOT of clean (0+ / 0-)

      energy with all the money those CANDU reactors sucked up:

      "Based on Ontario's record, the economic performance of the CANDU system is quite poor. Although much attention has been focussed on the problems with the Darlington plant, in fact, every single CANDU design in Ontario went over budget by at least 25%, and average over 150% higher than estimated.[61] Darlington was the worst offender, at 350% over budget, but this project was stopped in-progress thereby incurring additional interest charges during a period of high interest rates, which is a special situation that was not expected to repeat itself.

      In the 1980s, the pressure tubes in the Pickering A reactors were replaced ahead of design life due to unexpected deterioration caused by hydrogen embrittlement.

      All the Pickering A and Bruce A reactors were shut down in 1999 in order to focus on restoring operational performance in the later generations at Pickering, Bruce and Darlington. Before restarting the Pickering A reactors, OPG undertook a limited refurbishment program. The original cost and time estimates based on inadequate project scope development were greatly below the actual time and cost and it was determined that Pickering Units 2 and 3 would not be restarted for commercial reasons. Despite this refurbishment, the reactors have not performed well since the restart.
      These overruns were repeated at Bruce, with Units 3 and 4 running 90% over budget.[61] Similar overruns were experienced at Point Lepreau,[62] and the planned refurbishment of the Gentilly 2 plant has been delayed until the fall of 2012, and currently there are serious plans to simply shut it down instead."

  •  Advanced Cost Recovery is a feeding trough (0+ / 0-)

    for utilities building nuclear power:

    "In the four states in the Southeast where funds are being collected from ratepayers under new advanced cost recovery for nuclear reactor construction in the Southeast, each individual nuclear reactor project costs $15 to $20 billion. Over $4 billion has already been approved for advanced cost recovery, yet it appears increasingly unlikely that the most of reactors will ever be built. Ratepayers will have paid billions but received nothing for their money. If reactor construction moves forward as proposed, almost $85 billion of construction costs will move into the utility rate-base causing rapid increases in typical consumer bills within a decade. Rate increases can mount to almost $70 per month before any power is generated by the reactors. Early cost recovery will not prevent rate shock."

    Basically, they get to bill their customers billion$$$ for years while the reactors are under construction even if the reactor is never finished in the end.  This puts all the risk onto ratepayers and gives the utility a "heads I win. tails you lose" arrangement with them.  

    This is really just a stealth and unfair feed-in tariff.  At least in places like Germany, where feed-in tariffs are used to support clean energy, the people paying them ACTUALLY GET ELECTRICITY OUT F THE DEAL.

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