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South Texas Project unit returns to service

By adriana_acosta
Nov. 27, 2010 at 5:27 a.m.

Plant employees worked around the clock, seven days a week to make the necessary repairs to the South Texas Project's Unit 2 after it was shut down three weeks ago due to equipment failure.

A look at STP For the past six years, STP has produced more energy than any other two-unit nuclear facility in the nation.

The facility is managed by the STP Nuclear Operating Company and owned by Austin Energy, CPS Energy and NRG Energy.

STP's two units produce 2,700 megawatts of carbon-free electricity, enough to power 2 million homes.

To learn more about the South Texas Project, visit

BAY CITY - South Texas Project's Unit 2 is back online.

The unit was up and operating Friday night after the unit automatically shut down due to an equipment failure three weeks ago.

The failure happened because an electrical fault created an under voltage condition.

"While we were disappointed to be in this situation, the commitment and dedication of our team to make the necessary repairs - safely and event free - were outstanding," said Ed Halpin, South Texas Project president and chief executive officer.

Organizations from throughout the company worked through a challenging and complex process to return the unit to service, Halpin said about the 1,350-megawatt unit.

"This was a tremendous effort on the part of our team. In true STP form, the emergent work was conducted without a single safety incident," he said.

Plant employees worked around the clock, seven days a week to make the necessary repairs, said Buddy Eller, director of communication for South Texas Project.

Several other departments from the nuclear plant put in 50,000 hours to return the unit to service, Eller said.

The Forced Outage Team also repaired an electrical switchgear cubicle that was damaged when a circuit breaker malfunctioned.

A decision to extend the outage because of repairs to a seal-housing gasket on a reactor coolant pump, which moves water through the steam generator, was made last week.

"We are committed to our long-standing track record of safe and reliable operations. Our team made the appropriate, conservative decision to extend the outage and make these repairs," Halpin said.

Each of the facility's two-units contains four reactor coolant pumps and four steam generators.

The plant makes decisions based on safety rather than production, Halpin said.

"Our team navigated through a very challenging outage that extended into the Thanksgiving holiday," Halpin said. "This was a tremendous effort by our team to complete these tasks in less than a month, and to safely and reliably return Unit 2 to service."



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