GE to upgrade Monticello

30 January 2007

GE Energy’s nuclear business has been awarded a contract to oversee and implement an extended power uprate of the Monticello plant in Minnesota.

The one-unit, 613 MW boiling water reactor (BWR), located 50km northwest of Minneapolis, will see its capacity increase to 684 MW upon completion in spring 2011, boosting the plant’s output to 120% of its original power.

The contract, awarded by the plant’s operator, Nuclear Management Company is worth more than $100 million.

The Monticello project is GE’s first major uprate contract that includes both managing and providing the plant engineering design and supply of the large balance of plant equipment including steam turbine, generator, instrumentation and controls, transformers, and water chemistry.

GE is in the process of selecting companies to provide major equipment and is in negotiations with a major architect-engineering company to support this significant project.

The plant’s owner is Northern States Power Company, a subsidiary of Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy Inc.

The uprate follows a recent shut down at the plant, caused when a 17 tonne control box that regulates steam flow to the turbine fell onto and damaged a number of steam lines, resulting in a loss of pressure.

An internal investigation indicated a weld failure allowed the unit to drop around 30 cm onto the lines and after almost two weeks shutdown, the reactor was restarted.

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