Spanish nuclear plant sets record

CN Cofrentes station in Spain recently set a new world record for the shortest refueling outage for a modern General Electric (GE)-supplied boiling water reactor (BWR). The refueling was accomplished in 19 days and 15 hours, according to GE Nuclear Energy. The record was almost half the time plant owner Iberdrola normally took for refueling and maintenance outages.

It breaks the previous BWR shortest refueling mark for a GE BWR by more than three days. The previous record was 22 days and 19 hours, held by Limerick 2 in Pennsylvania, USA.

The CN Cofrentes plant is a 990 MW facility in southern Spain. Since it began commercial operation in 1985, Cofrentes staff has been performing refueling outages in less than 40 days. More recently, in an effort to reduce operating and maintenance costs, Iberdrola implemented a program with GE to perform alternate outages in 20 and 40 days on an 18-month operating cycle, to average 20 days of outage time annually. The record is the result of a three-year effort between Iberdrola and GE, which included increased use of online maintenance and application of outage reduction engineering criteria.