2,500 contractors speed Installation of four steam generators
- By Christopher Smith -
Operators at PGE's Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant completed the installation of four replacement steam generators and restarted the reactor one week ahead of schedule (Pictures).The plant’s Unit 1 reactor was restarted at about 11:45 a.m. yesterday. Restart was originally scheduled for the end of March. Diablo Canyon generates about 10 percent of California's electricity.
The first batch of steam generators was replaced last year. The steam generators are 70 feet long and weigh 350 tons. Eight in all, they transfer heat from the plant’s two nuclear reactors to two steam-driven electric turbines.
Workers also replaced about a third of the reactor’s fuel, setting the stage for another 18 to 20 months of operation. Installation of this second batch of enormous generators marks the end of the bigest maintenance operation in the plant’s 25-year history. In order to install the steam generators, replace the fuel and perform thousands of maintenance tasks, nearly 2,500 contractors were brought in to augment the plant’s 1,300 permanent employees.
"The contractors make a significant contribution to the U.S. economy," said plant manager Jim Becker. “About half of the outage workers come here from out of town,” he said. “That means over 1,000 individuals are living, eating and shopping along the Central Coast of California during what is normally a relatively quiet tourism period.”
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Diablo Canyon Outage Will Add New Turbines, Steam Generators, and 2,000 Jobs
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