In regards to the recent media coverage of the Palisades Nuclear Power Plant and the industry topic of pressurized thermal shock, Entergy Corp. issued the following statement from Tony Vitale, Palisades' site vice president:
"The Palisades nuclear plant is a safe and secure facility, and we have an NRC license to operate this facility through 2031.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has strict rules, regulations and limits for all aspects of nuclear plant operations. This includes a program to monitor nuclear power plant reactor vessels and the potential impact of a rare accident scenario — pressurized thermal shock, in which a large amount of cold water is injected into the reactor resulting in rapid cooling of the reactor vessel.
This is not a new topic or one that is unique to Palisades. In fact, for decades pressurized thermal shock has been well understood and well monitored by the owners and operators of the nation's pressurized water reactors.
Every pressurized water reactor plant in the nation is required by the NRC to continually update its calculations to confirm reactor vessel strength — meaning every plant must conduct periodic reactor vessel inspections and analyze reactor vessel samples. Consistent with these NRC requirements, Palisades will conduct these inspections and analysis during our refueling outage this fall.
We have every reason to believe the test results will again demonstrate the safety and strength of the Palisades reactor vessel, which will enable us to continue operating through the end of our license in 2031. We will submit an updated evaluation to the NRC for its review in the spring of 2014."
Entergy Corp. is an energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with about 30,000 MW of electric generating capacity, including more than 10,000 MW of nuclear power, making it one of the nation's leading nuclear generators.
Entergy delivers electricity to 2.8 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $10 billion and about 15,000 employees.