WINTERSBURG, Ariz.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--For the second consecutive year, a planned refueling outage at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station has been completed in record time. This year’s Unit 2 spring refueling outage began on Saturday, April 5, and was completed Saturday, May 3 – in a total time of 28 days, 22 hours.
It was the second sub-30 day refueling outage in plant history, improving upon last spring’s record-setting Unit 1 refueling outage, which was completed in 29 days, 18 hours.
It is an achievement that positions Palo Verde to effectively serve APS customers through the hot Arizona summer and that underscores the strong operating record at the plant over the past five years, said Randy Edington, APS Executive Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer.
“This refueling outage is another example of the world-class performance we have come to expect from Palo Verde, where safety remains our highest priority,” Edington said. “It will enable us to continue providing reliable service to our customers at the lowest prices possible. Palo Verde has generated more than 30 billion kilowatt-hours of emission-free electricity for the past nine years. The way our plant staff performed in this outage is a strong indicator that we can exceed that level again this year.”
In addition, as part of the U.S. nuclear power industry’s response to – and lessons learned from – Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi 2011 nuclear plant incident, Palo Verde installed additional resources to help maintain public safety in the unlikely event that normal cooling systems and other backup systems were to fail. The modifications include an additional layer of backup power by positioning vital emergency equipment (generators, battery packs, pumps, air compressors and battery chargers) in multiple locations.
“Palo Verde was already one of the safest nuclear power plants in the world. The work we completed in this outage makes it even safer,” Edington said. “Our staff is dedicated to working to protect their own safety on the job and public safety at all times. We learned a long time ago that the safest plants are also the best operating plants."
In 2013, Palo Verde achieved its 22nd consecutive year as the nation’s largest power producer with total electricity production of 31.4 billion kilowatt-hours. Also in 2013, according to industry data, Unit 2 produced more electricity than any other reactor in the United States and was the second most productive in the world.
In addition to the energy produced, Palo Verde has an estimated annual economic impact of nearly $2 billion in Arizona through taxes, salaries, purchases of materials and services, and more.
Palo Verde is operated by APS and jointly owned by APS, Salt River Project, Southern California Edison Co., El Paso Electric, Public Service Co. of New Mexico, Southern California Public Power Authority and the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power.
APS, Arizona’s largest and longest-serving electricity utility, serves nearly 1.2 million customers in 11 of the state’s 15 counties. With headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the principal subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corp. (NYSE: PNW).