Port Gibson, Miss., July 24, 2002 — Entergy’s Grand Gulf Nuclear Station is generating about 20 additional megawatts of electricity this summer, enough to supply at least 20,000 additional homes. The increased output from the plant began June 30 when a complex auxiliary cooling tower project was completed and placed in service.
Modifying the plant and the original natural draft cooling tower and constructing the auxiliary tower to operate in parallel was a technically challenging feat. Grand Gulf is the first plant in the world to have successfully accomplished this parallel operation with circulating water flow equally divided between the cooling towers.
The Mississippi Public Service Commission approved the project in fall 2000. Actual construction began in summer 2001.
Cooling systems play an integral part in the power generation process. After steam produced by the heat from the fuel source has turned the turbine blades, the steam goes to a condenser, where it passes over pipes of cool water to be condensed back into water. The water is processed and purified and pumped back to the heat source to again become steam.
The cooling towers keep the piped water in the condenser cool. Cooler water in this circulating water system allows the turbine generator to operate more efficiently and ultimately increase the electrical output.
The design of Grand Gulf’s 520-foot tall, natural draft cooling tower creates airflow that cools the circulating water. The new low profile, mechanical draft auxiliary tower uses 20 huge motor-operated fans to create additional cooling airflow.
“Entergy Nuclear is continually looking for ways to improve the performance of our plants while providing a reliable, economic source of electricity for Entergy’s customers,” said Gary Taylor, Entergy Nuclear South chief operating officer. “We are proud of the employees and work partners who contributed to this auxiliary cooling tower project at Grand Gulf. Entergy has a strong commitment to nuclear energy – now and for the future – as a safe, emission-free source of electricity.”
During 2000, environmental emissions avoided by Grand Gulf’s operation included 58,000 tons of sulfur dioxide, 24,000 tons of nitrogen oxide and 2.47 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. Grand Gulf ranked ninth in the world for total generation in 2000 when the plant produced 10,694,613 megawatt-hours. Grand Gulf’s 2001 output was 9,923,978 megawatt-hours.
Grand Gulf, located near Port Gibson, Miss., is a General Electric boiling water reactor, which began commercial operation in 1985. The current maximum dependable capacity rating is 1,210 megawatts. South Mississippi Electric Power Association owns 10 percent of
Grand Gulf, and Entergy subsidiary System Energy Resources owns or leases 90 percent.
Entergy Nuclear, the nuclear businesses of Entergy Corporation, is headquartered in Jackson, Miss. Entergy, a global energy company headquartered in New Orleans, is the third largest power generator in the nation with more than 30,000 megawatts of generating capacity, nearly $10 billion in revenue and almost 2.6 million customers.
Entergy Nuclear is the second largest and fastest growing operator of nuclear power plants in the nation. It operates five reactors at four locations in Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana under regulatory jurisdictions and four reactors at three sites in Massachusetts and New York.
Entergy Nuclear has signed an agreement to purchase the Vermont Yankee plant at Vernon, Vt., and expects to close the transaction by July 31, 2002. Entergy Nuclear also is the nation’s largest provider of license renewal and decommissioning services to the nuclear power industry.