More megawatts for Cooper

18 December 2012

Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) is to seek to increase the output of its 800 MWe Cooper nuclear power plant by 146 MWe through a program including the replacement of the plant's high pressure turbine.

Cooper (NRC)_200
Cooper (Image: NRC)

NPPD's board of directors voted unanimously to pursue an extended power uprate (EPU), which would involve equipment upgrades and complement investments made in replacing major components over recent years. NPPD CEO Pat Pope explained that the plant's high pressure turbine will be replaced regardless of whether the EPU goes ahead. Indeed, the long lead-time component has already been ordered.

The project is estimated to require a capital investment of $243 million, $60 million of which is already committed to modifications agreed with the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in 2010 when the regulator agreed to renew and extend the plant's operating licence to 2034. The new equipment would be installed during three successive scheduled refuelling and maintenance outages in 2014, 2016 and 2018, with the new turbine expected to be installed during the 2016 outage.

NPPD must seek approval from national and state regulators for a licence amendment to allow the uprate to go ahead. The NRC approved a small (12 MWe) uprate at the single-unit BWR plant in 2008.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News