Shearon Harris uprate receives regulatory approval

6 June 2012

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved a request by Progress Energy to increase the power generating capacity of the Shearon Harris Nuclear Power Plant by 1.66 percent. The power uprate for the pressurized-water reactor, located approximately 20 miles southwest of Raleigh, N.C., will increase its power generating capacity from approximately 900 MWe net to 930 MWe net.

According to the NRC, Progress will implement the uprate within four months of the end of the spring 2012 Shearon Harris outage.

The uprate was made by measurement recapture. The NRC staff’s evaluation determined that Progress could safely increase the reactors’ power output primarily through more accurate means of measuring feedwater flow. As part of its evaluation, NRC staff reviewed the company’s analysis showing the plant’s design can accommodate the increased power level.

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.

Meanwhile, negotiations continue on the Duke-Progress merger. A deal cut with the North Carolina Utilities Commission would see the merged utility prevented from passing on costs to customers of $110 million of transmission line projects for five years after the merger close, among other stipulations.

The utilities are now waiting on orders to be issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which are expected in early June.

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