Peach Bottom Nuclear Generating Station
|Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station|
Photo of Units 2 and 3 c. 1974
|Location||Peach Bottom, Penn.|
|Commission date||Unit 1: 1966
Unit 2: July 5, 1974
Unit 3: Dec. 23, 1974
|Decommission date||Unit 1: 1974|
|Owner(s)||Exelon Corp. (50%),
PSEG Power (50%)
|Nuclear power station|
|Reactor type||BWR/4 MK I (Units 2 & 3)|
|Reactor supplier||GE (Units 2 & 3)|
|Units operational||2 x 1112 MW|
|Units decommissioned||1 reactor|
|Annual generation||18,899 GWh|
Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station, a nuclear power plant, is located 50 miles (80 km) southeast of Harrisburg in Peach Bottom Township, York County, Pennsylvania, on the Susquehanna River three miles north of the Maryland border.
The Philadelphia Electric Company (later shortened first to PECO Energy and later to just PECO) became one of the pioneers in the commercial nuclear industry when it ordered Peach Bottom 1 in 1958. The U.S.'s first nuclear power plant (the Shippingport Reactor) had gone on line a year earlier. Peach Bottom Unit 1 was an experimental helium-cooled, graphite-moderated reactor. It operated from 1966 to 1974. The other two units, General Electric boiling water reactors, placed on-line in 1974, are still in operation on the 620-acre (2.5 km2) site. Both Units 2 and 3 are rated at 3,514 megawatts thermal (MWth), equivalent to about 1,180 megawatts of electricity (MWe) each. Their licenses run until 2033 (Unit 2) and 2034 (Unit 3).
Peach Bottom was one of the plants analyzed in the NUREG-1150 safety analysis study.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission defines two emergency planning zones around nuclear power plants: a plume exposure pathway zone with a radius of 10 miles (16 km), concerned primarily with exposure to, and inhalation of, airborne radioactive contamination, and an ingestion pathway zone of about 50 miles (80 km), concerned primarily with ingestion of food and liquid contaminated by radioactivity.
The 2010 U.S. population within 10 miles (16 km) of Peach Bottom was 46,536, an increase of 7.2 percent in a decade, according to an analysis of U.S. Census data for msnbc.com. The 2010 U.S. population within 50 miles (80 km) was 5,526,343, an increase of 10.6 percent since 2000. Cities within 50 miles include Baltimore (36 miles to city center).
In 1987, PECO was ordered by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to shutdown Peach Bottom-2 and -3 on March 31 due to operator misconduct, corporate malfeasance and blatant disregard for the health and safety of the area.
Among the incidents cited by the NRC: security guards were overworked, and one guard was found asleep on the job; 36,000 gallons of "mildly radioactive water" leaked into the Susquehanna River; PECO mislaid data on radioactive waste classification causing misclassification of a waste shipment; at the turbine building on March 4, 1987, Unit 3 a major fire occurred at the maintenance cage.
In September 2007, former employee Kerry Beal videotaped Peach Bottom security guards sleeping on the job. Beal had previously tried to notify supervisors at Wackenhut Corp. and the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. He was eventually fired during the Exelon security transition, a decision which made a list of the 101 "dumbest moments in business" in the Jan 16, 2008 issue of Fortune.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's estimate of the risk each year of an earthquake intense enough to cause core damage to the reactor at Peach Bottom was 1 in 41,667, according to an NRC study published in August 2010.
- Bill Dedman, Nuclear neighbors: Population rises near US reactors, msnbc.com, April 14, 2011 http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42555888/ns/us_news-life/ Accessed May 1, 2011.
- Mufson, Steven (January 4, 2008). "Video of Sleeping Guards Shakes Nuclear Industry". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-11-18.
- "101 Dumbest Moments in Business: 69. Exelon Nuclear". CNN. January 16, 2008. Retrieved 2009-06-12.
- Bill Dedman, "What are the odds? US nuke plants ranked by quake risk," msnbc.com, March 17, 2011 http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42103936/ Accessed April 19, 2011.
- "Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station, Pennsylvania". Energy Information Administration, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). October 3, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-18.
- "Peach Bottom 2 Boiling Water Reactor". Operating Nuclear Power Reactors. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). February 14, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-18.
- "Peach Bottom 3 Boiling Water Reactor". Operating Nuclear Power Reactors. NRC. February 14, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-18.
- "The Peach Bottom Atomic Energy Station". PSEG Nuclear LLC. 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-06-07. Retrieved 2008-11-18.