Point Beach Nuclear Plant

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Point Beach Nuclear Plant
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Point Beach Nuclear Plant
Point Beach Nuclear Plant is located in Wisconsin
Point Beach Nuclear Plant
Location of Point Beach Nuclear Plant in Wisconsin
Country United States
Location Town of Two Creeks, Manitowoc County, near Two Rivers, Wisconsin
Coordinates 44°16′52″N 87°32′12″W / 44.28111°N 87.53667°W / 44.28111; -87.53667Coordinates: 44°16′52″N 87°32′12″W / 44.28111°N 87.53667°W / 44.28111; -87.53667
Status Operational
Commission date Unit 1: December 21, 1970
Unit 2: October 1, 1972
Construction cost US$589.1M (2007 prices)
Owner(s) NextEra Energy Resources
Nuclear power station
Reactor type PWR
Reactor supplier Westinghouse
Power generation
Units operational Unit 1: 620 MW, Unit 2: 620 MW
Nameplate capacity 1,026 MW
Capacity factor 86.4%
Annual output 7,767 GWh
Point Beach Nuclear Plant

Point Beach Nuclear Plant is a nuclear power plant located on Lake Michigan north of Two Rivers, Wisconsin, USA.

The plant is currently owned and operated by NextEra Energy Resources (prior to 2009 - FPL Energy), of Juno Beach, Florida. The plant was built by Wisconsin Electric Power Company (now We Energies, a subsidiary of Wisconsin Energy Corporation), and previously operated by the Nuclear Management Company.

NextEra Energy Resources purchased the plant from Wisconsin Electric Power Company in October 2007.[1] As part of the sale, We Energies agreed to repurchase all of the power produced by the plant for at least 20 years. In 2000–2007 the plant was managed by the Nuclear Management Company.

This plant has two, two-loop Westinghouse pressurized water reactors. There is also a visitors' center located at the Point Beach plant. The original letter of intent to purchase a single 454 megawatt (MW) nuclear unit from Westinghouse Electric for a fixed-price was issued by Wisconsin Electric and Wisconsin Michigan Power Company (a Wisconsin Electric subsidiary)[2] on December 30, 1965. The right was reserved to order a second, duplicate unit under the same terms. In May, 1966, the announcement was made that the plant would be built on a 1,200 acre site in the two of Two Creeks.

On November 28, 1966, following Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) endorsement and a brief public hearing, Alfred Gruhl, Glenn Reed, and Sol Burstein[3] turned the first symbolic spades of dirt for the official ground-breaking. In May, 1967, the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), predecessor to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), issued the official construction permit (number 32) for Point Beach Unit 1. The Unit 2 construction permit (number 47) was issued approximately a year later.[3]

On October 5, 1970, the AEC issued its full-term, full-power Operating License (DPR-24) for Point Beach Unit 1. The loading fuel into the reactor commenced almost immediately. On November 2, 1970, operators achieved initial criticality, with the nuclear-powered electricity being produced for days later, on November 6. Full commercial service was reached on December 21, 1970, just 49 months from the initial groundbreaking ceremony. After delays from nuclear power opponents, Unit 2 was granted a full-term, full-power operating license (DPR-27) on March 8, 1973, almost 1 1/2 years behind the original schedule.[3]

Due to steam generator tube degradation and failures caused by intergranular stress corrosion cracking, Unit 1 was operated at approximately 75-80% of full power from December, 1979 until October 1983, when replacement steam generators were installed.[4] The Unit 2 steam generators were replaced in 1996-97.[5]

In 2005, the approved the license renewal application for the Point Beach plant, extending the operating license from forty years to sixty.[6][7] in 2011, the NRC approved a 17% increase in power output (a.k.a. extended power uprate) from both units. This entailed significant upgrades to several plant systems and components, including safety-related pumps and valves, as well as the turbine-generator sets.[8]

Most of the power from this plant goes to the Green Bay area and communities along the Lake Michigan shoreline of Southeastern Wisconsin. The plant is connected to the grid by four 345 kV lines, one of which travels northwest towards Green Bay and then on to the We Energies North Appleton substation located about 12 miles north of Appleton, Wisconsin, and the other one interconnecting with the now-closed[9] Kewaunee Nuclear Generating Station located a short distance away to the north from Point Beach. The other 345 kV lines going out of the plant go south towards Milwaukee. Several 138 kV lines going out of the plant supply electricity to the surrounding area.

Surrounding population[edit]

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.[10]

The 2010 U.S. population within 10 miles (16 km) of Point Beach was 19,975, a decrease of 6.7 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 777,556, an increase of 10.0 percent since 2000. Cities within 50 miles include Green Bay (28 miles to city center).[11]

Seismic risk[edit]

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's estimate of the risk each year of an earthquake intense enough to cause core damage to the reactor at Point Beach was 1 in 90,909, according to an NRC study published in August 2010. This was tied for 62 in a list of 104 with #1 being most at risk.[12][13]


  1. ^ "Wisconsin Energy Transfers Ownership of Point Beach Nuclear Plant to FPL Energy". 2007-10-01. [dead link]
  2. ^ "WEC History". www.wecenergygroup.com. Retrieved 2017-05-11. 
  3. ^ a b c 20th Anniversary Point Beach Nuclear Plant. Wisconsin Electric Power Company. 1991. pp. 1–2. 
  4. ^ 20th Anniversary Point Beach Nuclear Plant. Wisconsin Electric Power Company. pp. 35–36. 
  5. ^ "NextEra Energy Point Beach Fact Sheet" (PDF). NextEra Energy Resources. 
  6. ^ "RENEWED FACILITY OPERATING LICENSE Renewed License No. DPR-24" (PDF). NRC.gov. 
  8. ^ "Regulatory approval for Point Beach uprate". www.world-nuclear-news.org. Retrieved 2017-05-11. 
  9. ^ Matthew L. Wald (May 7, 2013). "As Price of Nuclear Energy Drops, a Wisconsin Plant Is Shut". The New York Times. Retrieved May 8, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Backgrounder on Emergency Preparedness at Nuclear Power Plants". NRC.gov. Archived from the original on 2006-10-02. 
  11. ^ Dedman, Bill (April 14, 2011). "Nuclear neighbors: Population rises near US reactors". msnbc.com. Retrieved May 1, 2011. 
  12. ^ Dedman, Bill (March 17, 2011). "What are the odds? US nuke plants ranked by quake risk". msnbc.com. Retrieved April 19, 2011. 
  13. ^ Hiland, Patrick (September 2, 2010). "Safety / Risk Assessment Results for Generic Issue 199" (PDF). msnbc.com. Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research. 

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