Nuclear Power Uprate: Crystal River Nuclear Plant Assessment with Progress Energy and AREVA

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Uprates of existing nuclear power plants, as a part of the US Electric Industry’s balanced blend of clean, new generation, has the potential to increase electrical capacity by 15%-20%. This can be achieved by utilizing Measurement Uncertainty Recapture, Stretch and Extended Power Uprates. The Nuclear Energy Institute document, “Roadmap for Power Uprate Program Development and Implementation,” (NEI 08-10 Rev 0 July 2009) provides a road map for future Power Uprate projects based on a collaborative effort between the US Nuclear Industry Utilities and Design/Manufacturing vendors. The guidance was based on lessons learned and examples provided by utilities and vendors over the last decade of experience. Progress Energy presented a case study on Crystal River Nuclear Plant Margin Management and Lessons Learned during an NEI industry forum in January 2010. This case study has been revamped to incorporate feedback requesting additional topics and an overview of the project planning process. Progress Energy has partnered with AREVA and WorleyParsons, the original OEMs for the Nuclear Steam Supply System, Fuel, Safety Analyses and Turbine Plant Systems. This collaborative effort sets the stage for future Progress Energy and Industry Extended Power Uprates.

Crystal River successfully performed a Measurement Uncertainty Recapture (MUR) in January 2008 which yielded a 1.6% power increase. During the Unit’s Steam Generator Replacement Project in Fall 2009, the Major Projects organization took advantage of the Extended Outage to replace the Station’s Electrical Generator and Exciter, which included a horizontal mid section core iron replacement. In addition, the iso-phase bus duct coolers were replaced. Other Secondary plant modifications were performed which included increased secondary side cooling heat exchangers, pumps, and motors. The Moisture Separator Reheaters (MSR) were replaced in order to handle the increased load demand. This modification also included improved Chevron design efficiency for additional megawatt recovery. A new regenerative heat exchange system was also installed to recover reject heat from the MSR drains and return it to the condensate system.    

Modifications and equipment specifications are being generated for the next phase which will support a reactor uprate of 15.5%. This is currently the largest power uprate performed on a US PWR, and the first extended power uprate performed on a B&W designed reactor. The License Amendment Request has been completed and will be submitted to the NRC later this year. Modifications for the upcoming outage include a Low Pressure Injection cross tie to mitigate Core flood line break peak clad temperatures, Hot Leg Injection to mitigate boron precipitation and GSI 191 concerns for post accident precipitants, and a secondary side Fast Cooldown System which will utilize new atmospheric dump valves and control systems to reduce secondary side and subsequently primary side pressures. This improves High Pressure Injection response and provides for some core flood injection which helps to mitigate peak clad temperature increase and lower dose consequence for certain specific small break loss of coolant accidents. Additional secondary equipment is being upgraded or replaced including the condensate pumps and motors, booster feedwater pumps and motors, main feedwater pumps, a bypass around the deaerator, and feedwater heaters.    

In addition to the CR3 EPU, Progress Energy is currently designing an MUR uprate at the Harris Nuclear Plant and a turbine retrofit at the Robinson Plant. The Brunswick unit has previously performed two power uprates, a 5.5% Stretch Uprate in 1995 and a 15% Extended Power uprate in 2003. Progress Energy and their partners, AREVA and WorleyParsons, welcome benchmarks, lessons learned, and any other correspondence.

Progress Energy and AREVA will be presenting an in-depth discussion regarding the uprate project at Crystal River at Nuclear Energy Insider’s Nuclear Power Uprate Conference (June 21-22, 2010) in Washington DC. The conference will bring together uprate specialists in order to discuss best practice regarding uprates and how to plan and execute successful power uprate projects. More information regarding the conference can be found at

Ken Greenwood, Project Manager, Major Projects & Plant Upgrades from AREVA added, “Power uprates are especially important to the nuclear industry today as utilities search for ways to increase their baseload capacity without making the significant investment in building a new plant. This conference will provide participants with the information they need to plan and execute a successful uprate project based on experience from other uprate projects.”

Progress Energy and AREVA will be joined by other industry experts including representatives from Exelon, American Electric Power, Entergy, TVA, EPRI, URS, Westinghouse, GE Hitachi, Bechtel, Shaw Group, ENERCON, Siemens and more.

For more information regarding this press release, please contact:

Ted E Williams
Superintendent EPU Design
Progress Energy
Phone: 352.563.4356

Ken Greenwood
Project Manager, Major Projects & Plant Upgrades
Phone: 704.805.2794

Dean Murphy
Senior Industry Analyst
Nuclear Energy Insider
Phone: 1800.814.3459 ext 7204


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Dean Murphy
Nuclear Energy Insider
1800.814.3459 ext. 7204
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