A refueling and maintenance outage, scheduled to last approximately one month, began today at the Duane Arnold Energy Center (DAEC) near Palo. During the outage, DAEC employees and specialized …
A refueling and maintenance outage, scheduled to last approximately one month, began today at the Duane Arnold Energy Center (DAEC) near Palo. During the outage, DAEC employees and specialized contractors are scheduled to refuel the nuclear reactor as well as perform routine maintenance, inspections and equipment enhancements that could not be done while that plant is operating.
Scheduled outages are vital to maintaining safe and reliable operations at nuclear power plants. Refueling and maintaining outages at DAEC were held 12 months apart when operations began 25 years ago and have gradually increased to 18-month cycles. Improved nuclear fuel design and operational techniques to be introduced in the current outage will let DAEC gradually lengthen the refueling cycle to 24 months by 2003.
“DAEC is expected to produce almost seven billion kilowatt hours of electricity before we have our next scheduled outage in May 2001,” said Dave Wilson, Alliant Energy vice president - Nuclear Division. “DAEC is rated one of the top performing nuclear power plants in the nation. Due to work done in previous outages, DAEC is in better condition today than when it was new and we are using this outage to prepare for more plant improvements in years to come, such as a power-outage update and additional storage of used fuel.”
Refueling and maintenance activities are planned during autumn or spring to avoid peak demand for energy. Alliant Energy’s other power plants are able to furnish customers with needed electricity during the outage. DAEC has a capacity of 535 net megawatts.
“The DAEC outage will have a significant economic impact in Eastern Iowa,” Wilson said. “Many of the specialists we’ve contracted with are from local companies. Those from outside the area spend money in the local economy as well.”
Central Iowa Power Cooperative (CIPCO) owns 20 percent of DAEC. Corn Belt Power Cooperative owns 10 percent of DAEC. Alliant Energy owns 70 percent of DAEC and is licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to operate the plant.
CIPCO and Corn Belt Power Cooperative are Touchstone Energy partners and are locally owned, community-minded electric cooperatives providing high standards of service for customers large and small.
Alliant Energy is an energy services corporation providing innovative solutions to enhance people’s comfort, security and productivity. Alliant Energy’s utility subsidiaries serve more than 1.3 million electric, natural gas and water customers in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
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