Wolf Creek Generating Station

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Wolf Creek Generating Station
Wolf Creek Generating Station logo.png
Wolf Creek Generating Station logo.
CountryUnited States
LocationHampden Township, Coffey County, near Burlington, Kansas
Coordinates38°14′20″N 95°41′20″W / 38.23889°N 95.68889°W / 38.23889; -95.68889Coordinates: 38°14′20″N 95°41′20″W / 38.23889°N 95.68889°W / 38.23889; -95.68889
Construction beganMay 31, 1977 (1977-05-31)
Commission dateSep 3, 1985
Construction cost$5.771 billion (2007 USD)[1]
Owner(s)Evergy (94%)
Kansas Electric Power Cooperative (6%)
Operator(s)Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corporation (WCNOC)
Nuclear power station
Reactor typePWR
Reactor supplierWestinghouse
Cooling sourceCoffey County Lake (5,090 acres (2,060 ha), refilled by pumping water from the John Redmond Reservoir and the Neosho River)
Thermal capacity1 × 3565 MWth
Power generation
Units operational1 × 1200 MW
Make and modelWH 4-loop (DRYAMB)
Nameplate capacity1200 MW
Capacity factor101.29% (2017)
84.90% (lifetime)
Annual net output10,648 GWh (2017)
External links
WebsiteWolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corporation

Wolf Creek Generating Station, a nuclear power plant located near Burlington, Kansas, occupies 9,818 acres (40 km²) of the total 11,800 acres (4,800 ha) controlled by the owner. Wolf Creek, dammed to create Coffey County Lake (formerly Wolf Creek Lake), provides not only the name, but water for the condensers.

This plant has one Westinghouse pressurized water reactor which came on line on June 4, 1985. The reactor was rated at 1,170 MW(e). A new turbine generator rotor was installed in 2011 that increased electrical output to approximately 1250 MW(e). The reactor output remained unchanged at 3565 MW (th)

On October 4, 2006, the operator applied to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for a renewal and extension of the plant's operating license.[2] The NRC granted the renewal on November 20, 2008, extending the license from forty years to sixty.[3]

The nuclear plant was a target of an unsuccessful cyberattack by hackers in 2017.[4]


The Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corporation, a Delaware corporation, operates the power plant. The ownership is divided between the Westar Energy (47%), Kansas City Power and Light Company (47%), and Kansas Electric Power Cooperative, Inc. (6%).

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.[5]

The 2010 U.S. population within 10 miles (16 km) of Wolf Creek was 5,466, a decrease of 2.8 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 176,656, a decrease of 1.7 percent since 2000. Cities within 50 miles include Emporia (30 miles to city center).[6]

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 Wolf Creek was 0.0018%, or 1 in 55,556, according to an NRC study published in August 2010.[7][8]


  1. ^ "EIA - State Nuclear Profiles". www.eia.gov. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  2. ^ "Wolf Creek Generating Station - License Renewal Application". Operating Reactor Licensing. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). December 1, 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-04.
  3. ^ "Wolf Creek licence extended 20 years". World Nuclear News. November 21, 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-04.
  4. ^ Finger, Stan (July 6, 2017). "Hackers targeting Wolf Creek and other nuclear power plants". The Wichita Eagle. Retrieved 2017-07-07.
  5. ^ [1] Archived October 2, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Bill Dedman, Nuclear neighbors: Population rises near US reactors, msnbc.com, April 14, 2011 http://www.nbcnews.com/id/42555888/ns/us_news-life/t/nuclear-neighbors-population-rises-near-us-reactors/#.XPHsAehJEgw Accessed May 31, 2019.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/msnbc/Sections/NEWS/quake%20nrc%20risk%20estimates.pdf

External links[edit]