PHOENIX, Ariz., Oct. 2, 2002 — Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station’s Unit 1 operated for its entire fuel cycle — running “breaker-to-breaker” for a unit-record 502 continuous days — when it shut down for its scheduled 10th refueling over the weekend.
In 1999, Palo Verde Unit 2 set the station’s existing record of 515 days of continuous operation, prior to its eighth refueling. In 2000, Unit 3 completed a run of 509 continuous days prior to its eighth refueling.
Unit 1’s refueling is expected to be completed in about 40 days. Palo Verde’s previous refueling — the 10th for Unit 2 — was completed this past April in 32 days, the second shortest for the site and part of an ongoing record of short refueling durations.
“Our employees are focused on improving equipment reliability and human performance, and their efforts are reflected in our operating successes,” said Gregg Overbeck, senior vice president of nuclear operations for APS, Palo Verde’s operating utility. “Our steady, consistent operation between refueling outages depends on executing large amounts of work during very aggressive refueling schedules.
“Palo Verde’s nuclear energy plays a large role in meeting the growing energy needs of the people of the Southwest. Our goal in meeting those needs is to continue to produce safe, reliable and clean power that is as efficient as possible.”
Palo Verde’s three identical units generated a combined 28.8 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2001, more than any other power producer in the United States. The station generated a national record 30.4 billion kilowatt-hours in each of 1999 and 2000.
Palo Verde is jointly owned by APS, Salt River Project, Southern California Edison Co., El Paso Electric, Public Service Co. of New Mexico, Southern California Public Power Authority and the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power.
APS, which operates Palo Verde on behalf of the station’s six other owners, is Arizona’s largest and longest-serving electric utility and serves more than 874,000 customers in 11 of the state’s 15 counties. APS, with headquarters in Phoenix, is the largest subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corporation.