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Major project at Pa. nuclear plant slated in 2017

SHIPPINGPORT, Pa. (AP) -- A western Pennsylvania nuclear plant will undergo major renovations in 2017, its owner said.

The steam generators and reactor vessel head in Unit 2 of FirstEnergy Corp.'s Beaver Valley Nuclear Power Plant will be replaced during a scheduled refueling outage, at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars, company spokeswoman Jennifer Young told The Beaver County Times.

A similar replacement and maintenance project was completed on Unit 1 of the Shippingport plant in 2006. Both units have been granted 20-year license extensions, running until 2036 for Unit 1 and 2047 for Unit 2.

Young said the components to be replaced are original, and new steam generators and reactor heads will help ensure long-term plant safety.

"Certainly, whenever you put in new components, there is a lot of engineering analysis that goes in ahead of time, just to make sure you are not putting additional pressure on the plant," she said. "But what they are putting in Unit 2 is exactly the same as what they put in Unit 1 in 2006."

Unit 1 is "operating very well with no challenges," she said.

Akron, Ohio-based FirstEnergy awarded the Unit 2 contract to San Francisco-based Bechtel Corp., the same company that replaced Unit 1's steam generators.


Information from: Beaver County Times, http://www.timesonline.com/