Four nuclear plant operators in the Midwest – Wisconsin Electric Power, Northern States Power, Wisconsin Public Service and Interstate Energy (Alliant Utilities) – have formed an alliance aimed at lowering their costs.
The utilities, which together operate seven nuclear plants at five sites, said the co-operative alliance will enable them to take advantage of the combined skills of their employees to improve plant performance and reliability, strengthen operating efficiency and maintain high safety levels.
The seven nuclear plants, of total capacity of more than 3650 MWe, are: Alliant Utilities’ Duane Arnold (535 MWe BWR), Northern States’ Monticello (553 MWe BWR) and Prairie Island (2 x 1060 MWe PWRs), Wisconsin Electric’s Point Beach (2 x 1014 MWe PWRs), and Wisconsin Public Service’s Kewaunee (500 MWe PWR).
Working teams are currently being organised to co-operate in such areas as fuel management, inventory management, Year-2000 initiatives, information exchange and self-assessment programmes. If the anticipated benefits occur, the companies may work jointly in other areas.
The Midwest group is similar to alliances of nuclear plants operators which were formed in other US regions to share technical and labour resources and best practices, reduce dependence on outside contractors, and leverage spare parts purchasing activities. They include the Utilities Service Alliance, the Northeast Energy Alliance and the Southeast CDSV Alliance.