River Bend begins its 22nd refueling outage

February 15, 2023, 3:10PMNuclear News
The River Bend nuclear power plant. (Photo: Entergy)

Entergy’s River Bend nuclear power plant started its 22nd scheduled refueling and maintenance outage on February 11. The plant, located in St. Francisville, La., is a 967-MWe General Electric boiling water reactor.

Busy time: More than 12,000 activities are scheduled for the outage, including the following:

  • Main condenser tube replacement (all tubes, nearly 70,000 total).
  • Feedwater heater replacement.
  • Reactor water cleanup.
  • Nonregenerative heat exchanger replacement.
  • High pressure turbine major inspection.
  • Integrated leak rate test and drywell bypass test.
  • ‘A’ recirculation pump motor replacement.

Work will be completed by more than 650 full-time River Bend employees, supported by staff from other Entergy nuclear plants. Additionally, more than 1,900 contract workers—including pipefitters, millwrights, ironworkers, carpenters, boilermakers, electricians, laborers, valve technicians, engineers, operating engineers, and radiation protection technicians—will work the outage.

The influx of contract workers and the associated spending will provide an economic boost to the local communities, according to Entergy. "The surrounding parishes have always supported the station during our refueling outages,” said Bruce Chenard, River Bend's general manager of plant operations. “We appreciate the community's support during this time of increased activity at our site and outside in the local businesses and community."

Note: River Bend Station achieved criticality in October 1985 and commenced commercial operation in June 1986. It is licensed to operate through mid-2045.

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