Robinson Nuclear Plant completes successful refueling outage

HARTSVILLE, S.C., Nov. 14, 2002 — Employees at CP&L’s Robinson Nuclear Plant completed a scheduled refueling outage Wednesday, Nov. 13, when the 683-megawatt nuclear unit near Hartsville, S.C., was returned to service generating electricity.

During the refueling outage, workers replaced approximately one-third of the unit’s fuel, and completed more than 8,000 planned work activities, including routine maintenance tasks that cannot be performed while the plant is operating. During the outage, plant personnel conducted eddy-current examinations of the plant’s three stream generators and chemically cleaned all three steam generators.

The outage was particularly significant for Robinson as the plant completed a series of examinations of the entire reactor pressure vessel head and found no indications of control rod drive mechanism nozzle cracking and no corrosion of the head itself. The plant completed a qualified, 100 percent bare metal visual inspection of the top of the head, and 100 percent non- destructive examination (NDE) from under the head.

The NDE included eddy- current testing of each penetration, and ultrasonic testing of selected penetrations. The results of these examinations revealed no indications of problems and indicated that the reactor head for Robinson’s nuclear unit is in excellent condition.

Other major work activities during the outage included the installation of a new high-pressure turbine rotor and a new feedwater measurement system. These pieces of equipment support the plant’s power uprate project, a multi- year effort designed to enhance the efficiency and output of the Robinson Plant.

“Our mission is to continue to generate safe, reliable power for our customers,” said John Moyer, vice president for the Robinson Nuclear Plant. “The successful completion of this quality refueling outage positions us to operate safely and reliably until our next refueling outage in the spring of 2004. Each member of the Robinson outage team — our Robinson employees; shared resources from our Brunswick, Crystal River and Harris plants and other Progress Energy organizations; and our contractors — have played a significant role in safely and efficiently completing this refueling outage.”

The Robinson Plant has an outstanding record for safety and performance. Robinson employees have worked more than 8.9 million safe working hours without a lost-time injury. The 33-day outage, the facility’s 21st refueling in its 31-year history, followed a record-setting fuel cycle in which Robinson Plant employees safely and efficiently produced more than 9.2 million megawatt-hours of electricity, generating enough electricity to power more than 200,000 homes.

Since nuclear power is CP&L’s most cost-efficient source of electric generation, short outages and long operating runs between outages help keep customers’ electric rates stable. During plant outages, the company’s other electricity generating facilities provide power to customers. CP&L is a Progress Energy company.

Progress Energy, headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., is a Fortune 250 diversified energy company with more than 21,800 megawatts of generation capacity and $8 billion in annual revenues. The company’s holdings include two electric utilities (CP&L and Florida Power) serving more than 2.9 million customers across the Carolinas and Florida. Progress Energy also includes non-regulated operations (Progress Ventures) covering merchant generation, energy marketing and trading, fuel extraction (Progress Fuels), rail services (Progress Rail) and broadband capacity (Progress Telecom). For more information about Progress Energy, visit the company’s Web site at

Source: CP&L; Progress Energy, Inc.