Three Mile Island generator moving to Wake County

Photo courtesy Nuclear Regulatory Commission

January 22, 2010 9:44:59 AM PST
A generator in storage for more than three decades after the accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant is heading to Progress Energy's Harris Nuclear Plant in Wake County.

Officials at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission say the electrical generator is from the damaged Unit 2 reactor at TMI.

NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan said Thursday that preliminary work is under way to move the generator. It will be moved in two parts weighing a combined 670 tons.

TMI's Unit 2 reactor has been shut down since a stuck valve caused a partial meltdown in 1979. Sheehan says the generator was not contaminated with radiation.

Progress Energy spokesperson Mike Hughes told ABC11 Friday that the generator was used for just six months prior to the Three Mile Island accident and was completely separate from the Unit 2 area - so there was no sign of any contamination.

He said it has been thoroughly inspected and that numerous non-nuclear parts have been salvaged over the years by power companies to use in their facilities.

A part from the generator will be wrapped in new wire in Charlotte before going into service sometime this fall during a scheduled power uprate (the process of increasing the maximum power level at which a commercial nuclear power plant may operate).

It should give Shearon Harris 1 to 2 percent more power than the current 900 megawatts and the installation will save Progress Energy customers money as the power uprate will take 25 days less than if the current Shearon Harris generator had been refurbished.

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