Hatch nuclear plant begins maintenance, refueling outage

Edwin I. Hatch Electric Generating Plant | Courtesy of Southern Company

Southern Company said this week that refueling and other maintenance activities have begun under a planned outage at the Edwin I. Hatch Electric Generating Plant near Baxley, Georgia, this week.

The first unit at the plant was taken offline Monday, with approximately 800 additional workers joining the plant's staff of approximately 900 to complete the scheduled maintenance and refueling projects.

"Safety is our number one focus and priority during the outage," Plant Hatch Vice President David Vineyard said. "The key to a safe and successful outage is our outstanding employees and supporting partners. I am proud of the preparations we have made, and our entire team is ready to accomplish this refueling outage safely using our expertise and teamwork."

The company said each nuclear reactor requires these kinds of outages to switch out spent fuel and ensure the reactors are operating at levels that conform to regulations from federal and state governments. The Hatch plant's previous outage was performed in  spring 2014; fuel is replenished every two years.

Unit 2 at the facility will remain in operation while Unit 1 undergoes its outage. When in full operation, both reactors are capable of generating approximately 1,848 megawatts of electricity.

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