Perry Nuclear Generating Station

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Location
41°48'02"N
081°08'35"W
Country
 United States of America
Categories
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Description

The Perry Nuclear Power Plant is located on a 1,100 acres (450 ha) site on Lake Erie, 40 miles (64 km) northeast of Cleveland in North Perry, Ohio, US. The nuclear power plant is owned and operated by Energy Harbor (Formerly FirstEnergy Solutions). The reactor is a General Electric BWR-6 boiling water reactor design, with a Mark III containment design. The original core power level of 3,579 megawatts thermal was increased to 3,758 megawatts thermal in 2000, making Perry one of the largest BWRs in the United States. Perry was expected to close in 2021 as it is no longer profitable to run when competing against natural gas plants. To avert this, Ohio House Bill 6 was signed into law in July 2019 which added a fee to residents' utility bills that funded subsidies of $150 million per year to Perry and the Davis–Besse nuclear plant to keep both plants operational. However, the bill was alleged to be part of the Ohio nuclear bribery scandal revealed by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) in July 2020.

History

Perry was originally designed as a two-unit installation, but construction on Unit 2 was suspended in 1985 and formally cancelled in 1994. At the time of cancellation, all of the major buildings and structures for the second unit were completed, including the 500-foot-tall (150 m) cooling tower. It is possible that a second unit could be constructed on the site, but current economical and regulatory conditions are not conducive to doing so (in addition to back taxes that would be due to the "abandon in place" designations on many objects in Unit 2). Eleven hundred acres at the Perry plant were designated in 1993 as an urban wildlife sanctuary by the National Institute for Urban Wildlife. The area has trees, shrubs, streams and ponds; and a habitat for heron, belted kingfisher, ducks and geese. The forested area is ideal for the crane-fly orchid, a rare species in Ohio. The site includes a wetland that contains spotted turtles, an endangered species in Ohio.On March 28, 2010, there was a fire in a lubrication system for one of the water pumps that feeds water for generation of steam. Reactor power automatically lowered to 68% due to the reduction in feed water flow, and the fire was extinguished in less than three hours. Two plant fire brigade personnel were brought to a local hospital for "heat stress" following the fire. No customers lost power during this event. On February 9, 2016, the plant was unexpectedly shut down for maintenance to a recirculation pump. The reactor was brought back to full power by February 20, 2016.In addition to Perry, Energy Harbor also owns and operates the Davis-Besse and Beaver Valley nuclear plants.

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.The 2010 U.S. population within 10 miles (16 km) of Perry was 83,410, an increase of 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 2,281,531, a decrease of 3.0 percent since 2000. Cities within 50 miles (80 km) include Cleveland (36 miles (58 km) to city center). Canadian population is not included in these figures.

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 Perry was 1 in 47,619, according to an NRC study published in August 2010.

Security threats

At around 6:00pm EDT on April 7, 2021, the FBI's Cleveland Field Office tweeted that there was an ongoing security situation at the plant that necessitated a bomb squad. The following day, law enforcement disclosed that a 33-year-old Michigan man drove to the power plant and told plant security officers that there was a bomb in the trailer he was towing with his pickup truck. No bomb was found; the man was arrested.
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