River Bend Nuclear Generating Station

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River Bend Nuclear Generating Station
River Bend Nuclear Station, Unit 1 (32540002895).jpg
Official nameRiver Bend Nuclear Station
CountryUnited States
LocationWest Feliciana Parish, near St. Francisville, Louisiana
Coordinates30°45.4′N 91°20′W / 30.7567°N 91.333°W / 30.7567; -91.333Coordinates: 30°45.4′N 91°20′W / 30.7567°N 91.333°W / 30.7567; -91.333
Construction beganMarch 25, 1977 (1977-03-25)
Commission dateJune 16, 1986
Construction cost$7.198 billion (2007 USD)[1]
Owner(s)Entergy Gulf States
Operator(s)Entergy Nuclear
Nuclear power station
Reactor typeBWR
Reactor supplierGeneral Electric
Cooling towers4 × Mechanical Draft[a]
Cooling sourceMississippi River
Thermal capacity1 × 3091 MWth
Power generation
Units operational1 × 967 MW
Make and modelBWR-6 (Mark 3 Containment)
Units cancelled1 × 934 MW
1 × 1520 MW ESBWR
Nameplate capacity967 MW
Capacity factor83.20% (2017)
81.90% (lifetime)
Annual net output7048 GWh (2017)
External links
WebsiteRiver Bend Nuclear Station

River Bend Nuclear Generating Station is a nuclear power station on a 3,300-acre (1,300 ha) site near St. Francisville, Louisiana in West Feliciana Parish, approximately 30 miles (50 km) north of Baton Rouge. The station has one sixth generation General Electric[2] boiling water reactor that has a nominal gross electric output of about 1010 MWe. Commercial operation began on June 16, 1986.

River Bend is operated by Entergy, which owns 100% of the station through its subsidiary, Entergy Gulf States Louisiana.

The Site Vice President is Bill Maguire, the General Manager of Plant Operations is Steve Vercelli, and the Senior Operations Manager is Timothy Venable.

General Information

River Bend supplies the residents of Louisiana with approximately 30% of their electricity. The station also provides residents with over 600 full-time jobs and has improved living conditions in the surrounding area with high achieving academic schools with generous donations made to the local areas. The station has been recognized as a high achieving site by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, INPO, and WANO. River Bend has some of the highest performing employees in the industry in all departments. Behind the day-to-day operation of the station is a highly achieved Operations department. While all departments are important to the safe operation of the station, the operators are the ones who day in and day out monitor and control the plant in a safe manner to make safe and reliable electricity for the citizens of Louisiana. These operators are generally hired in as non licensed field operators who perform work outside of the control room. After years of successful employment as a non licensed operator, the most qualified and best performing individuals are selected to attend training to become a licensed reactor operator. This two-year program is extremely challenging and involves rigorous studying and simulator training to make it through NRC generic fundamentals all the way through to the NRC license exam. Many have attempted to gain a license but it is not for everyone and some do not make it. For the ones who do make it, they proudly hold their license issued by the NRC and are in elite company as they are the most highly trained employees of the plant and are responsible for every action taken at the plant to ensure safe and reliable operation. Once licensed, the operator must maintain satisfactory standing with their license by successfully completing a written and performance evaluation every five weeks along with an annual written exam and job evaluation.

Units 2 and 3

The River Bend site was originally designed to have two identical units. Construction on Unit 1 began in 1973, but Unit 2 barely broke ground, with only the containment base mat and some underground piping installed. In 1984, plans to construct Unit 2 were officially abandoned.[3]

On September 25, 2008, Entergy filed a Combined Construction and Operating License (COL) application with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for Unit 3, a new nuclear reactor at River Bend. The 1550 MWe Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR) was the selected design.[4][5] The reactor's cost was estimated at $6.2 billion.[6]

On January 9, 2009, Entergy indefinitely postponed work towards the license and construction of Unit 3.

Surrounding population

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.[7]

The 2010 U.S. population within 10 miles (16 km) of River Bend was 23,466, an increase of 11.1 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 951,103, an increase of 11.2 percent since 2000. Cities within 50 miles include Baton Rouge (25 miles to city center).[8]

Seismic risk

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's estimate of the risk each year of an earthquake intense enough to cause core damage to the reactor at River Bend was 1 in 40,000, according to an NRC study published in August 2010.[9][10]

Safety record

Unlike the Waterford Nuclear Generating Station downriver in Hahnville, River Bend continued operation throughout Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The plant was shut down during Hurricane Gustav in 2008.[6]

See also


  1. ^ 4 × concentric low-profile concrete cooling towers, each with 8 × individual induced-draft cooling cells, for a total of 32 induced-draft cooling cells.


  1. ^ "EIA - State Nuclear Profiles". www.eia.gov. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  2. ^ "River Bend Nuclear Power Plant, Louisiana". U.S. Department of Energy. September 5, 2008. Archived from the original on May 27, 2012. Retrieved 2008-09-28.
  3. ^ Nuclear Power Generation and Fuel Cycle Report 1997 p. 66.
  4. ^ Mowbray, Rebecca (September 26, 2008). "Entergy seeks OK to expand La. plant". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved 2008-09-28.
  5. ^ "River Bend Station, Unit 3 Application". U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. September 23, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-28.
  6. ^ a b DiSavino, Scott (September 22, 2008). "Entergy La. River Bend reactor starts to exit outage". Reuters. Retrieved 2008-09-28.
  7. ^ "Backgrounder on Emergency Preparedness at Nuclear Power Plants". Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Retrieved 2019-12-22.
  8. ^ Bill Dedman, Nuclear neighbors: Population rises near US reactors, NBC News, April 14, 2011 http://www.nbcnews.com/id/42555888 Accessed May 1, 2011.
  9. ^ Bill Dedman, "What are the odds? US nuke plants ranked by quake risk," NBC News, March 17, 2011 http://www.nbcnews.com/id/42103936 Accessed April 19, 2011.
  10. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-05-25. Retrieved 2011-04-19.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links