The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has given a green light to a 1.6 percent reactor capacity increase for Duke Energy Carolinas' three Oconee reactors located near Seneca, South Carolina.
NRC staff determined that Duke Energy could safely increase all three reactors’ heat output, primarily through more accurate means of measuring feedwater flow.
The power uprates for the three units 30 miles west of Greenville, S.C., are as follows: Unit 1 will be allowed an increase from approximately 909MWe to 923MWe; Unit 2 at Oconee will upgrade from approximately 919MWe to 933MWe; and capacity at Unit 3 at Oconee will be allowed to rise from approximately 922MWe to 936MWe.
The company's plan is to uprate each unit during the respective refueling opportunities.
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, the agency said.
Unit One at the plant was commissioned in July 1973, while the other two pressurised water reactors were commissioned in September and December 1974, respectively.
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