Harris shutdown could cost Duke Energy $1.5 million a day - WNCN: News, Weather

Harris shutdown could cost Duke Energy $1.5 million a day

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Harris Nuclear Plant was shut down after operators reviewing tests from last year rechecked the data and found tiny marks of corrosion and cracking that need repair. Harris Nuclear Plant was shut down after operators reviewing tests from last year rechecked the data and found tiny marks of corrosion and cracking that need repair.
RALEIGH, N.C. -

The Nuclear Energy Institute says Harris Nuclear Plant's shutdown could be costing Duke Energy as much as $1.5 million per day to replace power generated by the plant.

David Bradish, NEI's manager of energy and economic analysis, says when a nuclear plant shuts down, it usually costs between $1 million and $1.5 million per day to replace power generated by the plant.

Bradish added that the cost estimate is based on the spot price of electricity in the area where the plant is shut down.

He says the cost to the power company increases depending on the time of the year as well. Most outages occur during the spring and fall seasons, but an unplanned outage during the summer will cost the company more.

Earlier this month, Harris Nuclear Plant was shut down after operators reviewing tests from last year rechecked the data and found tiny marks of corrosion and cracking that need repair.

Duke Energy said it found a quarter-inch mark of corrosion and cracking in the covering of the reactor vessel, which contains heat produced by the nuclear core's energy. The crack did not penetrate the vessel head and there was no evidence of radiation leakage, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Duke Energy said.

Officials with Harris Nuclear Plant say repairs to the damaged reactor vessel head are expected to be completed "in a matter of weeks." The plant has been closed since May 16.

Bradish says two weeks is not long for a reactor to be shut down, explaining that nuclear plants shut down during refueling outages every 18 to 24 months. He says plants are typically shut down anywhere from 30 to 40 days.

During the outages, Bradish says power companies will use reserves or go to other utilities to meet their customers' demands.

Duke has not said how much the shutdown is costing the company.

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