Nuclear power plant operators can increase output, NRC says

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has approved a request by Florida Power & Light (FP&L) to increase the power generating capacity of Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Units 3 and 4, about 20 miles south of Miami, by 15 percent.

The power uprate for the pressurized water reactors will increase each unit’s power generating capacity from approximately 700 to 823 MWe.

The NRC staff’s evaluation determined that FP&L could safely increase the reactors’ power output primarily by carrying out significant upgrades to several plant systems and components, including the feedwater pumps and the high-pressure turbine. As part of its evaluation, NRC staff reviewed the company’s analysis showing the plant’s design can accommodate the increased power level.

The NRC’s safety evaluation of the plant’s proposed power uprate focused on several areas, including the nuclear steam supply systems, instrumentation and control systems, electrical systems, accident evaluations, radiological consequences, fire protection, operations and training, testing, and technical specification changes.

FP&L intends to implement the uprate during the spring 2012 refueling outage for Unit 3 and during the fall 2012 outage for Unit 4.

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