Beaver Valley Marks Milestones

Unit 2 Cooling Tower Structure looking southeast (1980).

December 15, 2017

Thirty years might seem like a long time to most people. For others, though, it goes by in the blink of an eye. That’s the case for nearly 200 employees at Beaver Valley who were here when Unit 2 went into full commercial operation – 30 years ago in November.

One of them is Site Vice President Rich Bologna. “We were all so young, some of us right out of college. It was an exciting time,” said Rich.

After a decade of construction, on May 28, 1987, Beaver Valley Unit 2 was issued a limited operating license to permit fuel load and low power testing up to five-percent full power. Initial fuel load was completed June 1, 1987, and on Aug. 4, 1987, Initial Criticality was achieved.

A Full Power Operating License was authorized on Aug. 13, 1987. Initial synchronization to the grid occurred on Aug. 17, 1987. Testing continued through September and October that year, and at 9:00 a.m. on Nov. 17, 1987, the station was declared commercial for 100-percent power production.

Since that time, Unit 2 has racked up 230,367 hours online and has generated a net total of 191,982,460 megawatts (MW) of electricity. “Think of everything that electricity was involved in powering,” said Steve Hovanec, manager, Technical Services Engineering. Steve started at Beaver Valley in 1980, years before construction of Unit 2 was complete.

Unit 2 was the second of the two-unit nuclear power generating station. Westinghouse Electric Corporation furnished the three-loop pressurized water reactor steam supply system and turbine generator, while the balance of the unit, including the containment structure, was designed and built with the assistance of Stone and Webster Engineering Corporation.

It’s also important to note that in addition to the 30-year notch for Unit 2, Beaver Valley Unit 1 has been operating for 41 years, and the reactor it replaced from the original Shippingport Atomic Plant first went critical 60 years ago on Dec. 2, 1957. “Just to be clear,” said Rich, a smile appearing, “while the Shippingport anniversary is a historic milestone, I wasn’t here when that went online.”