Exelon Generation says its nuclear plants operated at near full capacity during recent winter weather

Published on January 17, 2018 by Kevin Randolph

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Exelon Generation said recently that its Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant in Maryland and Illinois nuclear plants operated at nearly full capacity Winter Storm Grayson hit the East Coast and an arctic deep freeze chilled the Midwest.

The storms caused a large increase in electricity demand and led two of PJM Interconnection’s all-time highest 10 winter peak demands, 136,125 megawatts on Jan. 3 and 136,206 on Jan. 5.

“Our performance this past week helps demonstrate nuclear power’s reliability and resiliency nationally,” Exelon’s Chief Nuclear Officer Bryan Hanson said. “Millions of people count on the electricity our nuclear facilities provide, in homes, businesses, schools, and hospitals, so we prepare for winter all year long to meet our reliability commitments.”

Exelon prepared for the winter weather by inspecting freeze protection systems, testing electrical equipment, and aligning plant systems as well ensuring that backup generators and spare equipment were available. Refueling outages also include various “winter readiness” maintenance activities and equipment upgrades.

“All 14 Exelon Generation nuclear facilities operate more than 90 percent of the time, even though the reactors are taken offline for refueling outages every 18 to 24 months,” Exelon said in a press release. “With on-site fuel and 18- to 24-month operating cycles, Exelon Generation’s nuclear plants don’t face fuel availability or delivery problems in inclement weather.”