The Sun Rises Behind Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station Unit 3 As The Unit Reconnects To The Electrical Grid On November 5 After Setting A Record For The Shortest Refueling And Maintenance Outage In Plant History. Palo Verde's Three 1,330-megawatt Generating Units Are On An 18-month Refueling Cycle, With Two Refueling Outages Scheduled Each Year - One In The Spring And Another In The Fall. Palo Verde Is Operated By APS. (Photo: Business Wire)

For the third time in Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station history, Arizona Public Service Co. employees completed a refueling and maintenance outage in less than 30 days. This outage set a station record for the shortest outage ever.

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The sun rises behind Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station Unit 3 as the unit reconnects to the elec ...

The sun rises behind Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station Unit 3 as the unit reconnects to the electrical grid on November 5 after setting a record for the shortest refueling and maintenance outage in plant history. Palo Verde's three 1,330-megawatt generating units are on an 18-month refueling cycle, with two refueling outages scheduled each year - one in the spring and another in the fall. Palo Verde is operated by APS. (Photo: Business Wire)

When Palo Verde Unit 3 reconnected to the electricity grid at 5:37 p.m. Arizona time on Saturday, November 5, the record was officially in the books at 28 days, 17 hours and 37 minutes. By comparison, the average length of a refueling and maintenance outage at all U.S. reactors in 2015 was 36.3 days, according to industry data.

Palo Verde has three virtually identical 1,330 megawatt reactors. Unit 3's planned refueling outage bested the previous Palo Verde record, which was established during the 2014 refueling outage for Unit 2. That outage lasted a total 28 days, 22 hours. The first sub-30 day refueling outage in plant history was set in 2013 when Unit 1 was refueled in 29 days, 18 hours.

The latest achievement positions Palo Verde to effectively serve APS customers with around-the-clock electricity and further underscores the plant's strong operating record over the past decade, said Bob Bement, APS Executive Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer, adding that customers directly benefit from shorter refueling outages because "the more days Palo Verde is operating rather than in a refueling outage, the more low-cost energy is available to customers across Arizona and the Southwest."

"This refueling outage is another example of the world-class performance we have come to expect from Palo Verde, which is the nation's largest carbon-free energy resource," said Bement. "The efficiency and safety with which our employees conducted this outage will enable us to continue providing clean, reliable service to our customers at the lowest possible prices.

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