BALTIMORE, April 25, 2003 -- Constellation Energy Group completed its Unit 2 steam generator replacement and refueling outage at Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant in 66 days, 32 days ahead of schedule, placing the plant near a world record for steam generator replacement.
This 66 day outage was completed in 58 fewer days than a similar outage completed at Calvert Cliff's Unit 1 in 2002.
"The steam generator replacement at Calvert Cliffs was accomplished with an unprecedented level of efficiency, safety, and overall operational excellence," said Mayo A. Shattuck III, Chairman, President and CEO of Constellation Energy Group. "Our crisp execution enabled us to complete this far ahead of schedule. This was much more than a routine refueling outage and major equipment replacement. It was truly an example of what can be achieved with high performance teamwork and meticulous planning."
In addition, the outage placed Constellation Energy among U.S. industry leaders for superior welding quality on the steam generator. Calvert Cliffs is believed to be the only nuclear power plant to complete welding with zero rejectable indications shown in radiography testing (RT) on the steam generator girth, and reactor coolant system "hot" and "cold" legs.
With zero rejectable indications, no weld repairs were required in these locations, cutting outage duration time. The most significant, the girth weld, covered 52 feet in circumference per steam generator. Calvert Cliffs uses two steam generators in each unit. Each girth weld required 2,200 pounds of weld material and was completed in only 8.25 days.
During the outage, Constellation Energy also inspected the reactor vessel head, including all nozzles. A bare metal visual inspection and ultrasonic testing showed the head to be in good condition, with no indication of cracking or boric acid damage. Calvert Cliffs was one of the first U.S. nuclear power plants to inspect its reactor vessel head after the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued an inspection order Feb. 11, 2003.
In addition to normal refueling activities, Constellation Energy employees and more than 1,000 contractors replaced Unit 2's two main step-up transformers, modified fuel thimbles, and conducted routine maintenance work on the unit's secondary systems, including the turbine and intake structure.
"Many of our facilities are experiencing top quartile or top decile performance when compared to similar facilities," according to Michael J. Wallace, President of Constellation Generation, Constellation Energy Group's power generation line of business. "Performance at Calvert Cliffs in this outage, drawing on resources across our fleet, is indicative of the talent of our team in construction, operations and maintenance of power plants. This talent will serve us well as we continue to add facilities to our fleet."
Calvert Cliffs Vice President Peter Katz attributed the outage's success to the outage team's ability to work cohesively and to incorporate lessons learned from across the industry. "We built a strong team to focus specifically on the outage, and we spent months prior to the outage training, qualifying personnel and testing equipment and techniques," Katz said. Constellation Energy owns generating facilities in thirteen states, totaling 12,300 megawatts.
Constellation Energy Group, a Fortune 500 company based in Baltimore, is a competitive supplier of electricity to large commercial and industrial customers. Constellation markets energy nationally and manages the associated risks. It owns and operates a diversified fleet of generation plants throughout the United States. It also delivers electricity and natural gas through the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE), our regulated utility in Central Maryland. In 2002, the combined revenues of our integrated energy company totaled $4.7 billion.