LUSBY, MD – Operators at Exelon Generation’s Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant removed Unit 1 from service just after midnight Sunday to begin a planned refueling outage, capping a record-setting run of 628 consecutive days of power generation. Work completed during the refueling outage will help the unit deliver zero-emission, resilient and reliable power to almost a million homes and businesses during the next two-year operating cycle.
To support the refueling outage, approximately 1,200 additional workers will travel to Calvert for several weeks, filling nearby hotels to capacity and increasing foot traffic in restaurants and shops at a time when tourism is usually slow.
“Calvert Cliffs’ annual refueling outages have a huge impact on our local economy and this year will be no different,” said Calvert County Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Bob Carpenter. “Our business community welcomes the hundreds of people coming to Calvert County to our hotels, motels, restaurants and tourist attractions.”
While the unit is offline, technicians will replace nearly one-third of the reactor’s fuel and perform more than 7,500 inspections, tests, maintenance activities and modifications. Many of the tasks performed during the outage cannot be accomplished while the unit is online.
Additionally, this year, Calvert is replacing a high-pressure turbine on the non-nuclear side of the plant. This investment in state-of-the-art equipment is expected to result in an additional 11 megawatts of generation.
“We are proud to produce almost a third of Maryland’s power with clean, safe and reliable nuclear generation,” said Calvert Cliffs Site Vice President Mark Flaherty. “Our outage investments in state-of- the art equipment and new technologies will help ensure safe, reliable operations for years to come.”
Calvert Cliffs is located on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay in Calvert County and is Maryland’s only nuclear energy facility. The station is home to two pressurized water reactors capable of generating 1,756 megawatts combined, enough to power more approximately 30 percent of all homes and businesses in the state of Maryland.
Ninety-six new AREVA fuel assemblies have been unpacked, inspected and loaded in Calvert Cliffs’ spent fuel pool in preparation for the 2018 Unit 1 refueling outage. The Calvert Cliffs reactors are refueled every 24 months during a planned refueling outage. These outages help ensure the unit runs safely and provides consistent, reliable power to the region for another two-year cycle.
While the unit is offline, technicians replace nearly one-third of the reactor’s fuel and perform more than 10,000 inspections, tests, maintenance activities and modifications. Many of the tasks performed during the outage cannot be accomplished while the unit is online.
To support the refueling outage each year, approximately 2,000 additional workers travel to Calvert for several weeks, filling nearby hotels to capacity and increasing foot traffic in restaurants and shops.
Image of Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant fuel pool, courtesy of Execlon Corporation