Fort St Vrain, the first commercial nuclear reactor in the US to be decommissioned, is operating with a capacity of 720MWe. Xcel Energy has just announced the completion of the six-year, $283 million repowering of the plant, the company’s largest generating station. The plant has three combined-cycle turbine generators of approximately 140MWe, powered by natural gas. After producing electricity in the newer turbine generators, waste heat is captured for steam production for the plant’s original 300MWe generator.

Decommissioning and dismantling of the controversial demonstration high-temperature, gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) was completed in September 1996. Several initial phases of construction added about 470MWe by May 1999, and the final phase brought the repowered facility up to its current 720MWe.