The Building Tradesman Newspaper

Friday, May 25, 2012

Fermi 2 back in service: “enormous” amount of work done during successful refueling outage

By The Building Tradesman

NEWPORT –The Fermi 2 Nuclear Power Plant returned to service May 5 when operators synchronized the plant to DTE Energy's electrical system, following a safe, successful refueling and maintenance outage that began March 26. The plant started operating at about 25 percent power, then ramped up to full power over the next several days.

“The Fermi 2 team completed an enormous amount of work during the outage, while always keeping safety as the top priority,” said Jack Davis, senior vice president and chief nuclear officer. “This maintenance work will help us to continue sending clean, safe energy to our customers in southeast Michigan.”

More than 1,400 supplemental workers, many of them local building trades workers, were at Fermi 2 to support the large amount of work.

Besides replacing about a third of the fuel in the reactor, Fermi 2 workers performed more than 15,000 separate activities – including inspections and equipment maintenance activities. Some significant jobs included upgrading the cables that connect the emergency diesel generators to the plant and upgrading the piping that supplies cooling water to the EDGs. In addition, new equipment on the transmission switchyard was replaced, to improve grid reliability.

“These are long-term reliability improvements for our facility that will help us continue to operate the plant safely and efficiently for years to come,” said Joseph Plona, Fermi 2 site vice president.

Fermi 2, a 1,140-megawatt nuclear power plant, is owned and operated by Detroit Edison, a subsidiary of DTE Energy. 

REPAIRING A SUCTION bell of a circulating water pump at the Fermi 2 plant is Tommy Wright, of Plumbers and Pipe Fitters 190, working for Mid-American Group. Wright is one of hundreds of tradesman from southeast Michigan who worked on Fermi 2’s 15th refueling outage. Photo by David Mitchell/DTE Energy