Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station achieved its 20th
consecutive year as the nation's largest power producer. The almost 31.3
million megawatt-hours produced in 2011 is the most ever generated by
Palo Verde or by any other U.S. power plant of any kind.
According to industry data, Unit 3 produced more electricity than any
other reactor in the U.S. in 2011 and was the second most productive in
the world. Despite a scheduled refueling outage in the spring of 2011,
Unit 2 was the third most productive reactor in the U.S. and ranked 10th
in the world. Unit 1, which had a scheduled refueling outage in the fall
of 2011, ranked 14th in the U.S. and 30th in the
world. Palo Verde's three reactors are part of 104 operating units in
the U.S. and 435 in the world.
"Our investment in equipment upgrades and our employees' efforts to
continually improve safety and overall plant performance has resulted in
many successes," said Randy
Edington, Executive Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer for Arizona
Public Service Co., the operator and largest owner of Palo Verde.
"We are proud of our accomplishments in enhancing plant operation and
will continue to strive to improve our record. We will stay on our
course to achieve our mission to 'SAFELY
and efficiently generate electricity for the long
From 2002 to 2010, Palo Verde installed new steam generators,
high-efficiency turbine rotors, new reactor vessel heads and rapid
refueling machines in all three units. These large investments resulted
in increased output by about 200 megawatts and reduced down time for
refueling and maintenance.
Other 2011 accomplishments include:
After a two-year in-depth technical audit, inspection and scrutiny of
the plant's operation, equipment and safety performance, the U.S.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved extending the operating
licenses for all three Palo Verde units an additional 20 years beyond
the original 40-year licenses, allowing Unit 1 to operate through
2045, Unit 2 through 2046 and Unit 3 through 2047.
Palo Verde set a record for lowest outage radiation exposure in the
nuclear industry. Palo Verde's Unit 1 refueling outage completed in
November recorded the lowest ever 20.6 rem. Prior to 2011, the best
refueling outage recorded for a U.S. commercial plant was 28.2 rem in
2006. The record low exposure included 106,424 man-hours accumulated
by more than a thousand nuclear professionals who worked in the
tightly controlled areas of the plant where radiological exposure is
Current industry median for station-best is 59
rem. Rem is an abbreviation for roentgen equivalent man, a
measurement of ionizing radiation. One rem is equivalent to receiving
one upper gastrointestinal (GI) computerized tomography (CT) scan.
Palo Verde opened a new Energy Education Center in Buckeye, Ariz. The
new building includes state-of-the-art equipment needed to respond to
an emergency and provide the public with the most complete, timely and
accurate information. It also will be used for other business purposes
including employee training, industry conferences, offsite meetings
and community outreach activities. The U.S. Green Building Council
awarded the facility its second-highest rating under the Leadership in
Energy and Environmental Design program, known as LEED.
Palo Verde is the largest nuclear power plant in the nation. Its three
units can generate more than 4 million kilowatts of safe, clean,
reliable, low-cost electricity every hour - enough to serve about 4
Palo Verde is operated by APS
and jointly owned by APS, Salt River Project, Southern California Edison
Co., El Paso Electric Co., Public Service Co. of New Mexico, Southern
California Public Power Authority and the Los Angeles Department of
Water & Power.
APS, Arizona's largest and longest-serving electricity utility, serves
more than 1.1 million customers in 11 of the state's 15 counties. With
headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the principal subsidiary of Pinnacle
West Capital Corp. (NYSE: PNW).
Betty Dayyo, 602-250-2309