18 April 2002 – Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station’s Unit 2 began producing electricity for customers Wednesday morning, just 32 days after operators shut down the unit’s reactor for refueling.
This refueling – the unit’s 10th since it began commercial operations in 1986 – was Palo Verde’s second-shortest outage and the shortest for Unit 2. Scheduled for 37 days, the outage was completed in 32. The unit’s next refueling is scheduled for the Fall of 2003.
During the refueling, Palo Verde workers also made a thorough inspection of the reactor vessel head and found the component to be in outstanding condition. The inspection had been prompted by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission after several of the nation’s other nuclear energy plants had discovered degradation in that area.
“Our team did a tremendous job during Unit 2’s refueling to ensure safe, reliable performance throughout our upcoming operating cycle,” said Gregg Overbeck, senior vice president of APS’s nuclear division. “We also are very pleased with the results of the vessel head inspection, which came in as expected.”
Palo Verde’s three identical units generated a combined 28.8 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2001, more than any other power producer in the United States.
Palo Verde is 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, which operates Palo Verde on behalf of the station’s six other owners, is Arizona’s largest and longest-serving electric utility and serves more than 857,000 customers in 11 of the state’s 15 counties. APS, with headquarters in Phoenix, is the largest subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corporation.