STP Outage extended – what will be the cost to Austin and San Antonio?

A couple of weeks ago an outage at South Texas (Nuclear) Project (STP) occurred when unit 2 automatically shutdown due to an “equipment failure”.  This outage triggered a reliability deployment of LaaRs (Load Acting as a Resource) event at ERCOT.  This shifting of load to cover an unexpected event can be quite expensive and the retail electric providers who purchase their electricity from STP will bear the brunt of that cost.

South Texas Nuclear Plant entrance from NRC.gov
One of these two reactors isn't working. And they call renewable energy unreliable!

South Texas Project has since announced it will extend its Unit 2 outage to repair a seal-housing gasket on a reactor coolant pump, which moves water through the steam generator.   The company has decided that, while the gasket’s condition is within operating criteria, STP will make the needed repairs, while they also continue to run unit 1.

A repair schedule is being finalized and restoration of the unit is projected to be completed sometime in November, but we here wonder if it won’t be even into December before it is repaired.

In the meantime, Austin Energy, which gets 27% of its energy from STP, and San Antonio’s CPS, which gets 38% of its energy from STP will be purchasing energy from other sources to make up for the loss from the STP outage.  Let’s hope we don’t have a major cold front come in before STP unit 2 is back online, or these energy companies could be looking at a lowered earnings projection for their final quarter.

This continues a banner few weeks for the nuke industry, who had to shut down Vermont Yankee because of a radioactive water leak and an unexplained transformer explosion at Indian Point 2, a reactor just 24 miles north of New York City, a known secondary target of terrorists on 9/11.

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