Exelon discusses post-Fukushima nuclear plant upgrades

Exelon Nuclear (NYSE: EXC), operator of the largest nuclear power fleet in the U.S., said it has added seven mobile, diesel-driven pumps at its nuclear energy facilities, along with thousands of equipment purchases, upgrades and validations completed at Exelon’s 10 plants, including the two-unit, 2,300 MW Byron Generating Station west of Chicago.

Since the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Exelon technical experts have verified more than 1,700 other pieces of equipment; inspected more than 1,900 flood barriers and seals; and invested more than 43,000 worker hours checking and testing equipment and procedures that might be needed in an emergency.

Exelon said those actions represent just a portion of the inspections, upgrades and other work undertaken by Exelon Nuclear following the Fukushima Daiichi disaster.

Lessons learned from Fukushima, Exelon stated, have translated into extensive reviews of equipment, structures and procedures at Byron Station, purchases of additional backup emergency equipment, updates of emergency procedures, and additions to emergency training.

“At Byron Station we recognize that nuclear power is special and unique, and our top priority is operating our facility with the highest safety standards,” said Tim Tulon, Byron Station site vice president.

Exelon Nuclear engineers and experts have also revised more than 1,300 safety procedures and guidelines, and created new ones, based on Fukushima lessons; verified the capability of all sites to withstand the most severe floods for their areas, and are in the process of re-evaluating base assumptions about maximum historical flooding; broadened operator training to incorporate lessons from Fukushima, and inspected and validated the seismic supports and restraints for thousands of pieces of equipment and pipes.

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