Power uprate project approved for nuclear power plant

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has approved a request by NextEra Energy to increase the generating capacity of both Units 1 and 2 at the Point Beach Nuclear Plant by 17 percent.

The NRC staff determined that NextEra could safely increase the reactors’ output primarily by carrying out significant upgrades to several plant systems and components, including safety-related pumps and valves, as well as the turbine-generator set. NRC staff also reviewed NextEra’s evaluations showing the plant’s design can handle the increased power level.

The NRC’s safety evaluation of the plant’s proposed power uprate focused on several areas, such as the nuclear steam supply systems, instrumentation and control systems, electrical systems, accident evaluations, radiological consequences, operations and training, testing, and technical specification changes. For added confidence in the analysis, the NRC staff also conducted independent calculations and evaluations of selected areas.

The power uprate for Point Beach Units 1 and 2 authorizes an increase of each reactor’s generating capacity from approximately 512 to 600 MWe. NextEra is implementing the uprate for Unit 2 during its current refueling outage, and intends to implement the uprate for Unit 1 during its fall 2011 refueling outage.

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