A planned outage at a South Carolina nuclear plant will cost about $60 million, according to officials. The scheduled outage this week at Duke Energy's H.B. Robinson nuclear power plant includes refueling the reactor and other maintenance tasks. Site operations director Mike Glover told the Morning News of Florence that the outage happens every 18 months. One-third of the fuel inside the single-unit, 750 megawatt pressurized water reactor needs to be replaced every 18 months. Glover says more modifications are also being done to improve the plant's reliability.
About 1,200 contractors will be working at the plant to get the work done quickly. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission stepped up scrutiny at Robinson after incidents in 2010 that included two fires, a faulty breaker on an emergency generator and inadequate training for workers.The next year, a false alarm sounded in a reactor containment building while the unit was being brought back on line after a faulty relay shut it down three days earlier.