FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant Begins Refueling To Support Continued Operation
SCRIBA, NY – Early this morning (Jan. 14), control room operators removed Entergy Corp.’s (NYSE: ETR) James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant from service to begin its 22nd refueling and maintenance outage and prepare for continued safe and reliable operation.
FitzPatrick had been scheduled to shut down at the end of its current fuel cycle in January 2017 until Exelon Generation (NYSE: EXC) agreed to assume ownership and manage operations.
“Since the November 2015 shutdown announcement, which was later cancelled, the FitzPatrick team has held its head high, stayed focused and shown its typical strength and character,” said FitzPatrick Site Vice President Brian Sullivan. “The team demonstrated that same focus and character when preparing for this refueling outage that will contribute to FitzPatrick’s continued safe and reliable operations. I’m proud of the FitzPatrick team’s resilience. They have worked very hard since the transaction announcement to prepare for this outage and continued operation.”
Late last year, the New York State Public Service Commission and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the transfer of ownership of FitzPatrick to Exelon, preserving nearly 600 full-time jobs at the plant.
A US Nuclear Regulatory Commission ruling on the transfer of FitzPatrick’s operating license and decommissioning trust fund, the last of the approvals needed for transaction completion, is expected this spring.
Exelon purchased new fuel for the reactor, which was a condition of the plant purchase agreement, and Entergy and Exelon have worked together to plan for the current outage, install new fuel and perform other work.
“We have had a great experience working with FitzPatrick’s employees and the local community over the past several months,” said Exelon Senior Vice President of Operations Chris Mudrick. “We all have the same goal: to support the continued safe and reliable operation of the FitzPatrick plant and preserve the many economic, grid reliability and environmental benefits it provides.”
The work during the refueling and maintenance outage will be performed by FitzPatrick’s staff, supplemented by Entergy employees from its other nuclear plants, nearly 100 Exelon employees, contract workers, and regional union labor, including pipefitters, boilermakers, electricians, laborers, and radiation protection technicians.
The influx of more than 1,000 outside workers and their associated spending at local hotels, restaurants, gas stations and stores provide a major economic boost to the community.
Workers will replace fuel assemblies in the reactor and perform maintenance, tests and inspections on plant equipment that cannot be performed while the plant is online.
The 838-megawatt James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant generates carbon-free electricity for more than 800,000 homes and businesses.