Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant

The Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant is located on the Tennessee River near Decatur and Athens, Alabama, on the north side (right bank) of Wheeler Lake. The Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant is named after a ferry that operated at the site until the middle of the 20th century. The site has three General Electric boiling water reactor (BWR) nuclear generating units and is owned entirely by the Tennessee Valley Authority. Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant was TVA's first nuclear power plant; its approval occurred on June 17, 1966 and construction began in September 1966. In 1974, the time of its initial operation, it was the largest nuclear plant in the world. It was the first nuclear plant in the world to generate more than 1 gigawatt of power.

In 2006, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) renewed the licenses for all three reactors, extending them for an additional twenty years.

Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant Unit One

Unit One is a 1,065 MWe BWR built by General Electric. Construction started on Unit One September 12, 1966 and originally came online on December 20, 1973. It is licensed to operate through December 20, 2033. However, Unit One was shut down for a year after a fire in 1975 damaged the unit. The unit was subsequently repaired and operated from 1976 through 1985, when all three Browns Ferry units were shut down for operational and management issues. Units Two and Three were restarted in 1991 and 1995, respectively.

Starting in 2002, TVA undertook to restore Unit One to operational status, spending $1.8 billion to do so. The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approved the restart of Unit 1 on May 15, 2007 and the reactor was brought up to criticality on May 22 for the first time since March 3, 1985. During initial testing after restart, on May 24, 2007, a leaky hydraulic control pipe in the turbine hall burst, spilling about 600 gallons of non-radioactive fluid, and the newly restarted reactor was temporarily powered down. Reactor power-up and tests resumed on May 27 and the unit started supplying power to the electricity supply grid on June 2, 2007, reaching full power on June 8. The Browns Ferry restart is expected to pay for itself in five years.

Unit One can generate 1,155 MW of electricity, and TVA plans an uprate to 1,280 MWe for this and the other two reactors.

Unit One fire

The March 22, 1975 fire started when a worker using a candle to search for air leaks accidentally set a temporary cable seal on fire. The fire spread through the wall from the temporary seal. The presence of the fire on the other side of the wall was not recognized until significant damage had been done to the station's control cabling.

From NRC IE BULLETIN NO. - 75-04A:

This later resulted in the Nuclear Regulatory Commission making significant additions to the standards for fire protection through the publication of 10CFR50.48 and Appendix R. According to the Nuclear Information and Resource Service, the newly-restarted Unit One does not comply with these standards. Unit Three was not affected by the accident. This event was pivotal not just for firestopping in the nuclear field, but also in commercial and industrial construction. While the nuclear field went to installations of silicone foam, a wider array of firestops became prevalent in non-nuclear construction.

In a 2005 analysis of significant nuclear safety occurrences in the US, the NRC concluded that the fire at Browns Ferry was the most likely (excluding the actual accident at TMI) "precursor" incident to have led to a nuclear accident in the event of a subsequent failure.

Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant Unit Two

Unit Two is a 1,113 MWe BWR built by General Electric which originally came online on August 2, 1974, and is licensed to operate through June 28, 2034. Unit Two generated 8.911261 TW·h of electricity in 2003, achieving a capacity factor of 94.1%.

During a drought in August 2007, Unit Two was shut down for one day because water temperature in the Tennessee River rose too high for the water to be used for cooling and then discharged back into the river.

Beginning in 2005 Unit 2 was loaded with BLEU (Blended Low Enriched Uranium) recovered by the DOE from weapons programs. This fuel contains quantities of U-236 and other contaminants because it was made from reprocessed fuel from weapons program reactors and therefore has slightly different characteristics when used in a reactor as compared to fresh uranium fuel. By making use of this fuel which would otherwise have been disposed of as waste the TVA is saving millions of dollars in fuel costs and accumulating a database of recycled uranium reactions in LWR use.

Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant Unit Three

Unit Three is a 1,113 MWe BWR built by General Electric which originally came online on August 18, 1976, and is licensed to operate through July 2, 2036. Unit Three generated 9.260078 TW·h, achieving a capacity factor of 99%.

Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant
Country United States
Locale Athens, Alabama
Coordinates 34°42′14″N 87°7′7″W / 34.70389°N 87.11861°W / 34.70389; -87.11861Coordinates / 34.70389; -87.11861
Status Operational
Construction began 1966–77
Commission date Unit 1: Dec. 20, 1973
Unit 2: Aug. 2, 1974
Unit 3: Aug. 18, 1976
Licence expiration Unit 1: Dec. 20, 2033
Unit 2: June 6, 2034
Unit 3: July 2, 2036
Operator(s) Tennessee Valley Authority
Architect(s) TVA

Reactor information
Reactors operational 3,297 MW
(3 reactors)
Reactor type(s) boiling water reactor
Reactor supplier(s) General Electric

Power generation information
Annual generation 21,227 GW·h

Takahama Nuclear Power Plant

The Takahama Nuclear Power Plant is a nuclear power plant located in the Ōi District in the Fukui Prefecture. Takahama Nuclear Power Plant is owned and operated by the Kansai Electric Power Company. The plant houses 4 nuclear reactors. Installed capacity on the Takahama Nuclear Power Plant is 3304 MW.

Reactors on Takahama Nuclear Power Plant

Name Reactor Type First Criticality Power Rating
Takahama - 1 PWR November 14, 1974 826 MW
Takahama - 2 PWR November 14, 1975 826 MW
Takahama - 3 PWR January 17, 1985 826 MW
Takahama - 1 PWR June 5, 1985 826 MW

Genkai Nuclear Power Plant

The Genkai Nuclear Power Plant is a nuclear power plant located in the town of Genkai in the Higashimatsuura District in the Saga Prefecture. It is owned and operated by the Kyūshū Electric Power Company.

Unit 3 has been selected as a special Plutonium fuel test case. The Genkai Nuclear Power Plant is on a site with a total of 0.87 square kilometers.

Reactors on Site

All reactors at the Genkai plant use low enriched (3-4%) Uranium dioxide fuel.

Name Reactor Type Power Rating Thermal Power Core Tonnage # of Fuel Assemblies Capital Costs
Genkai - 1 PWR 559 MW 1650 MW 48 tons 121 54,500,000,000 yen
Genkai - 2 PWR 559 MW 1650 MW 48 tons 121 123,600,000,000 yen
Genkai - 3 PWR 1180 MW 3423 MW 89 tons 193 399,300,000,000 yen
Genkai - 4 PWR 1180 MW 3423 MW 89 tons 193 324,400,000,000 yen

In 2010 there are plans to use plutonium fuel at unit 3.

Genkai Nuclear Power Plant
Country Japan
Coordinates 33°30′56″N 129°50′14″E / 33.51556°N 129.83722°E / 33.51556; 129.83722Coordinates: 33°30′56″N 129°50′14″E / 33.51556°N 129.83722°E / 33.51556; 129.83722
Construction began 1970
Commission date October 15, 1975
Owner(s) Kyūshū Electric Power Company
Operator(s) Kyushu Electric Power Company

Reactor information
Reactors operational 2 x 559 MW
2 x 1180 MW

Power generation information
Annual generation 25,380 GW·h
Net generation 407,958 GW·h

Ringhals Nuclear Power Plant

Ringhals Nuclear Power Plant is a Swedish nuclear power plant with 4 reactors, three pressurized water reactors and one boiling water reactor. Ringhals Nuclear Power Plant is situated on the Värö Peninsula (Swedish: Väröhalvön) in Varberg Municipality approximately 60 km south of Gothenburg. With a total power rating of 3560 MWe, it is the largest power plant in Sweden and generates 24 TWh of electricity a year, the equivalent of 20% of the electrical power usage of Sweden. It is owned 70% by Vattenfall and 30% by E.ON.

Following a number of security breaches and incidents since 2005, the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority decided to put Ringhals under increased surveillance.

Ringhals Nuclear Power Plant
Country Sweden
Coordinates 57°15′35″N 12°6′39″E / 57.25972°N 12.11083°E / 57.25972; 12.11083Coordinates: 57°15′35″N 12°6′39″E / 57.25972°N 12.11083°E / 57.25972; 12.11083
Construction began 1969
Commission date January 1, 1976
Operator(s) Ringhals AB

Reactor information
Reactors operational 3,662 MW
(4 reactors)

Power generation information
Annual generation 27,021 GWh
Net generation 609,769 GWh

Bugey Nuclear Power Plant

The Bugey Nuclear Power Station is located in Bugey in the Saint-Vulbas commune (Ain), about 30 km from the Swiss border. The site occupies 100 hectares. It is on the edge of the Rhône River, from where it gets its cooling water, and is about 30 km upstream from Lyon. About 1,200 people work at the site.

The site houses 4 currently operating units, all being pressurized water reactors. The 5th reactor (unit 1) is currently being dismantled, it was the last UNGG reactor built in the world.

Some of the cooling comes from direct use of the Rhône water (units 2 and 3) while some is done by the use of cooling towers (units 4 and 5).

Seismic activity

According to reports from the Autorité de sûreté nucléaire, some safety functions may not be provided in the event of an earthquake, however The area is not known for its seismic activity.

In the last few years, the plant was modernized to updated earthquake resistance standards.

Heat dumping

During the heat wave on July 20, 2003 water was directly dumped into the Rhône, which is permitted in extreme cases, for about 2 hours and the maximum heat difference was 0.9 degrees Celsius. Again on July 30, 2003 water was directly discharged into the Rhône for 9 hours.

Reactor units of Bugey Nuclear Power Plant

Reactor Unit Type Average Output Rated Power Commercial operation Close of reactor
Bugey 1 Gas-cooled reactor 540 MW 555 MW 01-07-1972 27-05-1994
Bugey 2 PWR 910 MW 945 MW 01-03-1979 2019 planned
Bugey 3 PWR 910 MW 945 MW 01-03-1979 2019 planned
Bugey 4 PWR 880 MW 917 MW 01-07-1979 2019 planned
Bugey 5 PWR 880 MW 917 MW 30-01-1980 2020 planned

Bugey Nuclear Power Plant
Country France
Coordinates 45°47′54″N 5°16′15″E / 45.79833°N 5.27083°E / 45.79833; 5.27083Coordinates: 45°47′54″N 5°16′15″E / 45.79833°N 5.27083°E / 45.79833; 5.27083
Construction began 1964
Commission date April 15, 1972
Owner(s) EDF
Operator(s) EDF

Reactor information
Reactors operational 3,724 MW capacity
Reactors decomm. 555 MW capacity

Power generation information
Annual generation 25,654 GWh
Net generation 645,711 GWh

Palo Verde Nuclear Power Plant

The Palo Verde Nuclear Power Plant is a largest nuclear power plant in United States, located in Wintersburg, Arizona, about 45 miles (80 km) west of central Phoenix. It is the largest nuclear generation facility in the United States, averaging over 3.2 gigawatts (GW) of electrical power production in 2003 to serve approximately 4 million people. Arizona Public Service (APS) owns 29.1% of the station and operates the facility. Other owners include Salt River Project (17.5%), El Paso Electric Co. (15.8%), Southern California Edison (15.8%), PNM Resources (10.2%), Southern California Public Power Authority (5.9%), and the Los Angeles Dept. of Water & Power (5.7%).

The Palo Verde Nuclear Power Plant facility is on 4,000 acres (16 km²) of land and consists of three Combustion Engineering pressurized water reactors, each with an original capacity of 1.27 gigawatts electrical, current (2007) maximum capacity of 1.24 gigawatts electrical,[4] and typical operating capacity 70%–95% of this. The plant is a major source of power for Phoenix and Southern California, capable of serving about 4 million people. The plant provides about 35% of the electricity generated in Arizona each year. The plant was fully operational by 1988, taking twelve years to build and costing $5.9 billion, eventually employing 2,386 people. The plant employs 2,055 full-time on-site workers.

Palo Verde Nuclear Power Plant supplies electricity at an operating cost (including fuel and maintenance) of 1.33 U.S. cents per kilowatt-hour. This is cheaper than coal (2.26 cents/kW·h) or natural gas (4.54 cents/kW·h) in the region at the same time (2002), but more expensive than hydro (0.63 cents/kW·h). Assuming a 60-year plant life and 5% long-term cost of capital, the depreciation and capital costs not included in the previous marginal cost for Palo Verde are approximately another 1.4 cents per kilowatt-hour. In 2002, the wholesale value of the electricity produced was 2.5 cents/kW·h. By 2007, the wholesale value of electricity at the Palo Verde hub was 6.33 cents/kW·h.

Due to its location in the Arizona desert, Palo Verde is the only nuclear generating facility in the world that is not located adjacent to a large body of above-ground water. The facility evaporates water from the treated sewage of several nearby municipalities to meet its cooling needs. 20 billion US gallons (76,000,000 m³) of treated water are evaporated each year. This water represents about 25% of the annual overdraft of the Arizona Department of Water Resources Phoenix Active Management Area. At the nuclear plant site, the wastewater is further treated and stored in an 80 acre (324,000 m²) reservoir for use in the plant's cooling towers.

The nuclear steam supply for each unit was designed and supplied by Combustion Engineering, designated the System 80 standard design–a predecessor of the newer standard System 80+ design. Each primary system originally supplied 3.817 GW of thermal power to the secondary (steam) side of each plant. The design is a so-called 2 × 4, with each of four main reactor coolant pumps circulating more than 111,000 gallons per minute of primary-side water through 2 large steam generators.

The main turbine generators were supplied by General Electric and when installed were the largest in the world, capable of generating 1.447 GW of electricity each. They remain the largest 60 Hz turbine generators.

Bechtel Power Corporation was the Architect/Engineer/Constructor for the facility initially under the direction of the Arizona Nuclear Power Project (a joint APS/SRP endeavor), later managed exclusively by Arizona Public Service. Edwin E. Van Brunt was the key APS executive in charge of engineering, construction, and early operations of the plant. William E. Bingham was the Bechtel Chief Engineer for the project. Arthur von Boennighausen was one of the Owner's Representatives for Arizona Public Service.

Unlike most multi-unit nuclear power plants, each unit at Palo Verde is an independent power plant, sharing only a few minor systems. The reactor containment buildings are some of the largest in the world at about 2.6 million cubic feet (74,000 m3) enclosed. The three containment domes over the reactors are made of 4-foot (1.2 m) thick concrete.

The facility's design incorporates many features to enhance safety by addressing issues identified earlier in the operation of commercial nuclear reactors. The design is also one of the most spacious internally, providing exceptional room for the conduct of operations and maintenance by the operating staff.

The Palo Verde 500 kV switchyard is a key point in the western states power grid, and is used as a reference point in the pricing of electricity across the southwest United States. Many 500 kV power lines from companies like Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric send power generated at the plant to Los Angeles and San Diego via Path 46, respectively. In addition, due to both the strategic interconnections of the substation and the large size of the generating station, the Western Electricity Coordinating Council considers a simultaneous loss of 2 of the 3 units the worst case contingency for system stability.

The site was granted a construction permit for two additional units in the late 1970s, however these units were canceled in the mid-1980s for economical risk reasons. Contrary to popular belief, the two additional units would not have been on the same arc as the three existing units — they would have been arranged south of Unit 3 on a north-south axis. As originally conceived they would have used dry cooling towers rather than the forced-draft wet cooling towers used in the existing design.


Palo Verde Nuclear Power Plant was of such strategic importance, due to a variety of its features, that it and Phoenix were documented by the former Soviet Union as target locations in the event of nuclear conflict during the Cold War. In March 2003, National Guard troops were dispatched to protect the site during the launch of the Iraq war amidst fears of a terrorist attack.

The site team and nearby town of Wintersburg remain a key focus of work in regard to homeland security, ranking in importance along with Arizona's major cities, military bases, ports of entry, and tourist sites.

Security guards working for the utility are armed with semi-automatic weapons. They check identification and search vehicles entering the plant. Other security measures protect the reactors, including X-ray machines, explosive "sniffers", and heavy guarded turnstiles that require special identification to open. Armed guards, security checkpoints with machines, and bomb sensors are standard at every nuclear power plant in the US.

alo Verde Nuclear Generating Station
Country United States
Locale Wintersburg, Arizona
Coordinates 33°23′21″N 112°51′54″W / 33.389241°N 112.865081°W / 33.389241; -112.865081Coordinates: 33°23′21″N 112°51′54″W / 33.389241°N 112.865081°W / 33.389241; -112.865081
NRC region Region 4
Status Operational
Construction began 1976
Commission date 1988
Licence expires March 25, 2027 (Unit 3)
Construction cost $5.9 billion
Owner(s) Arizona Public Service (29.1%),
Salt River Project (17.5%),
El Paso Electric Co. (15.8%),
Southern California Edison (15.8%),
PNM Resources (10.2%),
Southern California Public Power Authority (5.9%),
Los Angeles Dept. of Water & Power (5.7%)
Operator(s) Arizona Public Service
Architect(s) Bechtel

Reactor information
Reactors operational 3
Reactors operational (MW) 3,875
Reactor types pressurized water reactor
Reactor supplier(s) Combustion Engineering

Installed capacity 3,739
Total generation (year) 2007
Net generation (for 1 yr) 26,782.391

Darlington Nuclear Generating Station

Darlington Nuclear Generating Station is a Canadian nuclear power plant located on the north shore of Lake Ontario in Clarington, Ontario. The facility derives its name from the Township of Darlington, the former name of the municipality in which it is located. The Darlington station is a large nuclear facility and comprises 4 CANDU nuclear reactors located on the northern shore of Lake Ontario, having a total output of 3,512 MWe (capacity net) when all units are online. It provides about 20 percent of Ontario's electricity needs, enough to serve a city of two million people. It is arguably one of the most advanced nuclear generating stations in the world.

Darlingtong Nuclear Power Plant Construction and Operation

The facility was constructed in stages between 1981–1993 by the provincial Crown corporation, Ontario Hydro. Unit 2 was brought online in 1990, Unit 1 in 1992, and Units 3 and 4 in 1993. In April 1999 Ontario Hydro was split into 5 component Crown corporations with Ontario Power Generation (OPG) taking over all electrical generating stations and which continues to operate the Darlington station.

To most Ontarians, the Darlington station is associated with the massive cost overruns incurred during its construction. The initial cost estimate for the station was $3.9 billion CAD in the late 1970s, while the final cost was $14.4 billion CAD. The project was adversely affected by declining electricity demand forecasts, mounting debt of Ontario Hydro, and the Chernobyl disaster which necessitated safety reviews in mid-construction. A year-long period of public hearings and study by an Ontario government all-party committee finished in 1986 with the decision to proceed with the project, which had then risen to $7 billion in actual and committed costs. Discussion of who is to blame for the costs and subsequent debts associated with Darlington often arise during provincial election campaigns, and are often mentioned in anti-nuclear literature. The Darlington reactors have been among the best performing in OPG's CANDU fleet, including a top year in 2008 in which the plant achieved a combined 94.5% capacity factor.

The reactors are as follows:



New build proposal

OPG has also begun the process for building up to 4 new nuclear units at the site of its Darlington Nuclear Station. There is a lengthy approvals process in place including a full Environmental Assessment which will take 3–4 years to complete. If successful, the new units would go into service sometime around 2018. No decision has been made on what technology will be used.

In June 2009, the government of Ontario rejected all three bids submitted, leaving the status of the new builds up in the air.


The Darlington Waste Management Facility provides dry storage for the used fuel from Darlington, after an initial period in a water-filled storage bay. The facility was opened in 2007, reportedly on schedule and on budget. Ontario has proposed the construction and operation of a Deep Geologic Repository in Kincardine, Ontario for the long-term storage of low and intermediate level nuclear waste on lands adjacent to the Western Waste Management Facility in Kincardine, Ontario. Pending approvals and licensing by regulatory agencies, the DGR will commence construction in 2012 and operation in 2017/2018.

Darlingtong Nuclear Power Plant Awards and Recognition

2008: International Corporate Habitat of the Year Award (Wildlife Habitat Council)

2007: Performance Improvement Award (Institute of Nuclear Power Operators)

2007: 20th Anniversary Signatures of Sustainability Award (Wildlife Habitat Council)

2005: International Corporate Habitat of the Year Award (Wildlife Habitat Council)

Darlington Nuclear Generating Station
Country Canada
Locale Clarington, Ontario
Coordinates 43°52′22″N 78°43′11″W / 43.87278°N 78.71972°W / 43.87278; -78.71972Coordinates: 43°52′22″N 78°43′11″W / 43.87278°N 78.71972°W / 43.87278; -78.71972
Status O
Construction began 1981–93
Construction cost $14.4 billion CAD
Operator(s) Ontario Power Generation (OPG)

Reactor information
Reactors operational 4
Reactors operational (MW) 3,512
Reactor types CANDU