Nine Mile Point Nuclear Generating Station

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Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station is a two-unit nuclear power plant located in the Town of Scriba, approximately five miles northeast of Oswego, New York, on the shore of Lake Ontario. The 900 acre (3.6 km²) site is also occupied by the Fitzpatrick Nuclear Generating Station.

Nine Mile Point is operated by Constellation Energy Group. Constellation is also the sole owner of Unit 1, and owns 82% of Unit 2 (Long Island Power Authority owns the remaining 18%).

Units 1 and 2

Both units are General Electric boiling water reactors. Unit 1, a BWR-2, went online in 1969 and has a rated capacity of 609 MW. It is one of the two oldest nuclear reactors still in service in the United States; New Jersey's Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station is the other. Unit 2, a BWR-5, has been in operation since 1988 and has a rated capacity of 1,148 MW. Construction of both units, along with neighboring Fitzpatrick, was commissioned by Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation. Fitzpatrick was sold immediately upon completion, while Niagara Mohawk retained its share of the Nine Mile Point units until 2001, when it sold them to Constellation.

On October 31, 2006, Constellation announced that the NRC had granted 20-year license extensions to both units. Unit 1 is now licensed to operate until 2029 and Unit 2 is licensed until 2046.

The Nine Mile Point cooling tower is visible from Chimney Bluffs in Sodus, New York nearly 30 miles away.

In early May 2011, the operator of the plant reported that its fuel supplier, General Electric, notified it that mathematical errors were made which could resulted in reactor fuel’s getting hotter than operator thought.

Unit 3

On February 12, 2008, Unistar Nuclear, a joint venture between Constellation Energy and Électricité de France (EdF) announced it had notified the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) of its plan to submit a combined construction and operating licence (COL) application in late 2008 for an advanced-design U.S. Evolutionary Power Reactor (U.S. EPR) at Constellation Energy's Nine Mile Point site. The design is a Generation III+, four-loop pressurized water reactor. The U.S. EPR will be rated at 4,590 MW thermal/1,710 MW electrical gross. Plant loads will be approximately 110 MWe, thus the net generation is 1600 MWe net. Plant thermal efficiency will be approximately 36% (ratio of 1,710 MWe to 4,590 MWth).

The COLA was filed on October 1, 2008; the review process is expected to take between 36 and 42 months. Unistar noted that it has yet to make a final decision to build the plant.

Surrounding population

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission defines two emergency planning zones around nuclear power plants: a plume exposure pathway zone with a radius of 10 miles (16 km), concerned primarily with exposure to, and inhalation of, airborne radioactive contamination, and an ingestion pathway zone of about 50 miles (80 km), concerned primarily with ingestion of food and liquid contaminated by radioactivity.

The 2010 U.S. population within 10 miles (16 km) of Nine Mile Point was 35,632, an increase of 17.0 percent in a decade, according to an analysis of U.S. Census data for The 2010 U.S. population within 50 miles (80 km) was 909,523, an increase of 3.2 percent since 2000. Cities within 50 miles include Syracuse (36 miles to city center).

1991 site area emergency

On August 13, 1991 a "site area emergency" was declared at the plant. According to Time magazine, this was the third occasion an SAE had been declared at a US nuclear plant.

The emergency was due to an electrical fault which caused a momentary loss of electrical power to the reactor and control room. The operators shut down the reactor in accordance with the emergency plan requirements. There were no injuries or release of radiation as a result of the incident. The reactor came back online 13 hours after the incident.

From NRC Information Notice 91-64, Supplement 1:

Seismic risk

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's estimate of the risk each year of an earthquake intense enough to cause core damage to the reactor at Nine Mile Point was Reactor 1: 1 in 238,095; Reactor 2: 1 in 178,571, according to an NRC study published in August 2010.

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