Nuclear plant refueling outages benefit NY communities
This month we reached an important milestone for Upstate nuclear energy plants, the completion of three major refueling outages at Ginna, Nine Mile and Fitzpatrick supported by the many members of our New York State Building Trades. On the surface, this might seem a little dull, but these refueling outages bring an economic boon to New York State and the Upstate region.
Ginna, Nine Mile Point and FitzPatrick together support 25,000 direct and indirect jobs, but during an outage an extra 3,000 full-time union workers support the process. During the process, over a 1,000 highly skilled technical and maintenance skill trades replace one third of the reactors’ fuel while also doing thousands of other tests and inspection activities. The refueling and maintenance periods are planned well in advance and typically take place when energy demand is at its lowest in the fall or spring to ensure these critical facilities are available during peak demand periods. In total, over $310 million was spent on the three outages.
Refueling and maintenance periods offer additional economic drivers for the communities, like Oswego, Wayne and Monroe county communities. The thousands of additional support workers sweep into the towns and support hotels, restaurants and stores.