Dresden 3 outage wins award

1 March 2010

With more than 1,700 votes cast, Nuclear Engineering International magazine’s first outage awards was keenly fought. All the contenders were deserving. Third place went to the Areva/Dominion Surry 1 refuelling and maintenance outage. Second place went to the SGT West Diablo Canyon 1 steam generator replacement. But the clear winner was Dresden 3.

Dresden 2 (at left) and 3
Dresden's two-unit BWR-3 reactors in Illinois.


Despite its vast scope of work, the 2008 maintenance outage at Illinois’s 912MWe Dresden 3 plant took only 18 days. During that time, 1500 additional workers from utility Exelon and its major alliance partners General Electric and Shaw Stone & Webster executed a total of 7431 work order activities.

Dresden units 2 and 3 began commercial operation in June 1970 and November 1971 respectively, and are both General Electric’s boiling water reactor (BWR-3) design. Dresden unit 3 is on a 24-month refueling cycle and completed its 20th refuel outage in November, 2008.

The outage scope for D3R20 included refueling activities, major modifications, improvements and component inspections to ensure plant integrity and continued service. In particular, the outage included an integrated leak rate test (ILRT). The ILRT, which is required every 15 years, added an additional 46 hours to the outage duration. Other major elements included digital electrical hydraulic control (DEHC) system upgrades, 100% condensate pre-filter feed-water iron reduction modification and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) transformer 37 replacement.

The team attributed the success of the outage particularly to the use of a work platform and exposure reduction techniques. “Several key personnel factors that produced a successful D3R20 refuel outage duration include an experienced management team, alliance workforce and the dedication to outage readiness and preparation.

NEI's Outage of the Year awards recognises high achievement in planned maintenance and refuelling outages. Nominations for the 2011 awards are open now for outages from 1 October 2009 to 31 September 2010. Nominations close on 30 November 2010. For more information, go to http://www.neimagazine.com/awards for details.


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