Plant shutdown costs $62 million

BURLINGTON, KANSAS - A prolonged refueling outage at the Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Plant is estimated to cost about $62 million.

KansasÂ’ only nuclear power generator, located about 80 miles southwest of Kansas City in Burlington, has been shut down since March 19.

Jenny Hageman, spokeswoman for the Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corp., said the plant went offline for planned maintenance and refueling.

ItÂ’s expected to resume normal operations by late May, Hageman said.

Although all nuclear generators go offline for routine refueling and maintenance, Wolf CreekÂ’s inactivity for about two months represents a relatively long period of time for a shutdown, Hageman said.

“It depends on the work that is scheduled,” Hageman said. “They vary based on the scope. Because this was an outage in which we were replacing the turbine rotors, that factors in to the duration.”

Earlier this year, turbine rotors manufactured by General Electric Co. were damaged in transit to Burlington, though Hageman said that has not factored into the prolonged plant shutdown.

Kansas City Power & Light Co. and Westar Energy Inc. each own 47 percent of the Wolf Creek plant, with the Kansas Electric Power Cooperative owning the remaining 6 percent.

ItÂ’s been open since 1985.

On March 8, the Wolf Creek reactor was made the subject of heightened scrutiny by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission due to its safety performance.

That means the plant will undergo more regulatory inspection until safety issues are fixed.


in Year