Make us your home page
Instagram

Crystal River nuclear plant to be repaired by midyear, Progress Energy says

Repairs to a cracked reactor building containment wall could keep the Crystal River nuclear plant off line until midyear, Progress Energy says.

The company powered down the nuclear plant in September for a major maintenance project that was expected to be finished by late December.

But shortly after the job began, workers discovered that part of the containment wall had separated into two layers. The plant has remained off line since then while the company investigates its cause and comes up with a repair plan.

Progress Energy spokeswomen said Tuesday they cannot predict yet what the repairs to the wall will cost or whether the company will seek to recoup any of the repair costs from customers.

"Way too early to talk about that at this point," Progress Energy spokeswoman Suzanne Grant said.

Both of those questions will depend on what the root cause of the crack is determined to be.

Progress Energy and its engineering contractors have narrowed the list of possible causes from more than 70 to "a handful," according to a one-page update that Progress Energy filed with the Florida Public Service Commission on Jan. 25.

While the analysis of the cause is not complete, Progress Energy's update said "the remaining variables appear to point toward the interplay between several factors."

The determination of the root cause also will affect the schedule for repairs, but Progress Energy told the PSC that "based on what we know at this time, we do expect that all repairs will be completed so that (the plant) will return to service by midyear."

Workers discovered the gap, known as a delamination, while cutting a 25- by 27-foot hole in the wall so that two huge steam generators could be replaced.

The utility cut the hole because the reactor building's regular equipment hatch is too small for the new generators, each of which is 75 feet long and weighs 550 tons.

The wall itself is 42 inches thick, and the gap was found about 9 inches below the outer surface. The investigation has found that the gap inside the wall is up to 2 inches wide and extends up to about 30 feet from where the hole was cut for the generators.

Tests have not found similar gaps in any other part of the containment building.

While many details of the repair plan will depend on what experts determine the root cause of the crack to be, Progress Energy spokeswoman Wendy Horne said the company expects to remove and repour the delaminated concrete.

At this point, however, it does not appear that the repairs will require replacing the steel tendons embedded in the wall, Horne said.

Richard Danielson can be reached at Danielson@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3403.

Crystal River nuclear plant to be repaired by midyear, Progress Energy says 02/02/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 3, 2010 8:12am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Humana adding 200 telemarketing jobs in Tampa Bay

    Economic Development

    TAMPA — Health insurance company Humana Inc. is hiring more than 200 workers in Tampa Bay. The Louisville, Ky.-based company said Wednesday that the new positions will focus on phone sales for Humana's direct marketing services department.

    Humana is adding 200 positions to its Tampa office. Theo Sai, chief medical officer for seniro products at Humana, is pictured in the company's Tampa executive office in 2015. | Rachel Crosby, Times
  2. Tampa Bay home prices still soaring amid tight supply

    Real Estate

    Sales of Tampa Bay homes dropped in April but prices jumped yet again as Florida's real estate market continued to be defined by tight supply and high demand.

    The historic Century Oaks estate overlooking Clearwater Harbor has sold for $11.18 million, the most ever paid for a home in the Tampa Bay area. [Courtesy: Coastal Properties Group]
  3. These days, don't hit the theme park without an app and a phone charger

    Florida

    Emile Crawford stocks two back-up phone battery chargers these days when she takes her kids to Disney World. But she dare not venture into a theme park without a smart phone app, an accessory becoming as necessary as sunscreen in Florida theme parks.

    A wristband visitors will wear at the new Volcano Bay water park in Orlando, Florida. The wristband, called Tapu Tapu, tells you when it's your turn to get on a ride. It also lets you pay for food so you don't have to carry a wallet and opens lockers so you don't have to  carry a key. (Universal via AP)
  4. James Cameron, Zoe Saldana and more appear at Disney's Pandora

    Florida

    ORLANDO — As he stood on a stage at Disney World Wednesday, director James Cameron revealed his teenage dreams.

    Zoe Saldana tweeted a photo of herself from Wednesday's appearance at a new land in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Pandora -- the World of Avatar. The land is based on James Cameron film, in which she stars. Photo via Twitter.
  5. Parent of struggling DeVry University is changing its name to Adtalem

    Corporate

    Associated Press

    DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. — The company that owns one of the nation's largest for-profit college chains is changing its name.

    This 2009 photo shows the entrance to the DeVry University in Miramar, Fla. DeVry Education Group, which owns DeVry University, announced Wednesday that it will now be called Adtalem Global Education. 
[Associated Press file photo]