State News

Three Mile Island generator moving to Shearon Harris

Posted January 22, 2010

— A generator in storage for more than three decades following the accident at Three Mile Island nuclear power plant is heading to North Carolina.

Officials at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission say the electrical generator from the damaged Unit 2 reactor at TMI will be used at Progress Energy Inc.'s Shearon Harris nuclear plant in southwest Wake County.

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

Progress Energy spokeswoman Julia Milstead said the generator is coming from the non-nuclear side of TMI. The generator has been refurbished, and the parts were extensively tested to ensure they weren't contaminated.

The Raleigh-based utility will save money by using the older generator instead of buying a new one, meaning the cost savings can be passed on to its customers, Milstead said.

The generator will be shipped to Shearon Harris by rail and will not impact traffic on any area roads, she said.

TMI's Unit 2 reactor has been shut down since a partial meltdown in 1979.


Information from: The Patriot-News


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • Travised Jan 22, 2010

    I recall an interesting case when the guys were doing a service job on a plant. Can't recall if it was Maine Yankee or another, but to the point. They needed a piece for the control room, a panel or module. Something. They did some checking and there was a twin plant, same design, that never was fully operational. So they called up to it and sure enough, it had the same layout and had everything except the rods!

    So they made a few hour drive and pulled that part. The worker on site asked them if they wanted OTHER components of the plant that they had no need for!

    That is somewhat what this is. They refurb'd this component and will use it in another power plant.

  • WRALcensorsforIslam Jan 22, 2010

    The hysteria really does demonstrate that our public schools don't do a very good job of teaching basic science or critical thinking. Too many posters here are hysterical over something they truly do not and cannot understand. They're scared because someone told them nuclear power was scary and that is all they'll tolerate in terms of input into their thought processes on this matter. The generator converts steam power to electrical power, that is all people. It cannot hurt you unless if falls on you. Get a grip. Many of these people would be complaining regardless of what were to happen. If Progress built a coal plant, they'd complain. If Progress built a nuke plant they'd complain. If we don't have enough AC because we have insufficient generating capacity they'll complain. They'll complain if rates go up due to higher fuel prices or government regulation. If Progress has high profits they'll complain and demand more regulation. It won't end, so ignore them and cheer Progress on!

  • Leonardo Jan 22, 2010

    I don't understand the comments about not using "state of the art" equipment. This was a perfectly good piece of equipment that for obvious reasons had not been used to its potential life time. These comments are a testament to our throwaway society that it's better to toss this one in the closest landfill and buy a new one. Technology in these kinds of generators has not improved that much over the past few decades.

  • theartistformerlyknownasspeedy Jan 22, 2010

    ok. What is Harris using now? Where is this "new" equipment going?

  • smcallah Jan 22, 2010

    "Well, CP&L have always worked in their own best interest & could care less about public safety!"

    Huh? This is a GENERATOR. Did you not read the rest of the posts or even try to understand before responding? This thing isn't nuclear that they are bringing here. It didn't melt down. It is a steam powered generator. So what exactly are they doing that is dangerous? Explain please.

  • discowhale Jan 22, 2010

    How come nuke pwr is NEVER an issue until some article comes out? The plant is out there in New Hill, running fine, no daily complaints. I am an ex-construction phase employee, and in all the years since I left there, here's what I've NEVER heard anywhere,
    "...we just put our house on a personal generating system, because we REFUSE to use nuclear power..."
    It gets easier to pull off the grid everyday, but most NIMBYs buy power. I'll tell you why they buy, personal systems take too much time and money, it's just too much for avg Joe EnviroHYPE.

    Here's the weird part, I'm pro nuke and coal. I'm planning on moving to the country where I'm building my own pwr system. Why you might ask? Because I don't trust the grid, it's woefully overloaded and it got that way because the environmental types caused CP&L, and others to cancel generators that we needed 30 yrs ago!

    Remember Joe EnviroHYPE when the lights blink next time, and just think how great your house looks in the dark!

  • smcallah Jan 22, 2010

    "Is this a steam generator ?

    Is this an electrical generator ?"

    Considering that you don't generate electricity by using electricity, which do you think it is?

  • charlesboyer Jan 22, 2010

    kikinc - not saying YOU are uneducated, but I *am* saying that the study you linked is neither peer-reviewed, nor is it corroborated. Therefore, it (again not you) is uneducated and unscholarly IMO.

  • NC is my home Jan 22, 2010

    Well, CP&L have always worked in their own best interest & could care less about public safety!

  • kikinc Jan 22, 2010

    I never said I was relying on uneducated hearsay. I merely offered a piece of literature that I came across a few months ago. I conduct medical research for a living, so I normally base my opinion on facts that can be submitted for peer review.

    I've also seen many cases where evidence of wrongdoing and subsequent fallout have been swept under the rug. All I was doing was playing devil's advocate. Please don't accuse me of being uneducated.