Coal, Hydroelectric, Nuclear

Nuclear outages

Issue 5 and Volume 100.

Nuclear outages

I am writing with some concerns about Part 2 of the outage management report, “Focus: nuclear power plant outages,” by Jerry Locsin, CSR Data Services, in the January issue of Power Engineering. There seem to be several problems with this article.

First, Figure 1 simply doesn`t match the text given for this figure. The text given for Figure 1 seemsto be more properly referring toFigure 3.

Second, the research seems to indicate that the smallest nuclear generating unit is 51 MW. I believe the smallest nuclear plant it the United States is Consumers Power Co.`s Big Rock Point plant at 72 MW.

A few minutes of research on my part suggests IES Industries` Duane Arnold Station is more properly rated at 565.7 MW (turbine nameplate rating). This matches my recollection, as I was the startup engineer there more than 20 years ago.

If you are suggesting that minority ownership in nuclear plants be counted as units, I think this is a bad practice and should be discontinued immediately.

The article in referring to Figure 3 states that nuclear plants have fewer maintenance outages when compared with other sources. I suggest that Figure 3 shows there are far fewer nuclear plants than hydro or fossil-fueled plants. Other considerations seem to be washed out by the simple numeric facts.

James B. Lewis, PE

Jackson, Mich.

History of boilers

Steve Kuehn`s article in February`s issue of Power Engineering was very interesting and, considering the topic, was very general in nature. Specifically, I refer to the section on economizers,which lacked any detail at all.

As you may be aware, the economizer was invented in 1845 by Edward Green in Wakefield, England; and Senior Engineering (a direct descendent of Green Economizers) and its affiliates, of which Senior Boiler Tube Company of America is one, celebrated our 150th year in business–and of producing economizers–last year.

The economizer is a much-overlooked piece of equipment that languishes at the back of any boiler and performs a vital function in preheating feedwater. It is abused, works with poor conditions, generally receives little attention and yet, correctly designed, can pay for itself over and over again. The design evolution and history of this piece of equipment is worthy of a story itself.

In conclusion, I enjoy your magazine and look forward to “Part 3” of your history.

Geoff Hillary

Senior Boiler Tube Company of America