After generating more than 18 billion kilowatt hours of carbon-free energy over a 689-day operational run that included 653 days of continuous operation, the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant Unit 3 started a scheduled refueling and maintenance outage early Saturday morning.
Along with traditional outage work, such as loading 344 new fuel assemblies, a final round of modifications will be installed that will prepare Unit 3 to become the first of the three BFN units to operate at the Extended Power Uprate approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
“Outages are always important because it’s our opportunity to do the work necessary to safely and reliably generate electricity for the next two years,” said Lang Hughes, Browns Ferry site vice president. “There is added importance to this and our next two outages because we will complete the remaining work needed to operate each unit at EPU conditions to serve the energy needs of the Tennessee Valley.”
"Extensive testing will follow completion of this work to ensure Unit 3 operates as expected at the higher EPU power rating, which will result in an additional 155 megawatts of electricity. EPU modifications will be made on Unit 1 this fall and Unit 2 in spring 2019," officials said. "Once all three units are operating at the enhanced power levels, Browns Ferry will generate an additional 465 megawatts of electricity in total, enough to power an additional 280,000 homes. TVA expects to spend $475 million to implement EPU at Browns Ferry, part of its substantial investment in generation resources to meet current and future energy needs.
"Browns Ferry’s regular staff will be supplemented by more than 2,100 additional TVA and contract employees during the outage. More than 15,600 work activities are scheduled, including maintenance and upgrades of plant equipment, inspections and repairs on reactor components and installing modifications to improve safety margins.
"Browns Ferry Unit 3 is one of seven operational TVA nuclear reactors, supplying nearly 40 percent of all electricity used by more than 9 million people in the Tennessee Valley."