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Palo Verde-3 nuclear reactor completes outage, sets new station record

Washington — Arizona Public Service's Palo Verde-3 nuclear power unit reconnected to the electricity grid at 5:37 pm MST Saturday, setting a new station record with a refueling and maintenance outage that was completed in 28 days, 17 hours and 37 minutes, according to an APS spokesman.

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The 1,405-MW reactor in Wintersburg, Arizona, began the outage October 8. The unit beat the station's previous record, which the 1,406-MW Palo Verde-2 set in spring 2014 with a refueling outage that lasted 28 days and 22 hours, APS spokesman Alan Bunnell said in an email Monday.

The average length of refueling and maintenance outages at US reactors in 2015 was 36.3 days, according to S&P Global Platts data.

By midday Monday, Palo Verde-3 was operating at 68.5% of capacity, Bunnell said. Early that day the unit was at 50% of capacity, up from 12% the day before, according to US Nuclear Regulatory Commission daily reactor status reports.

--Elaine Hiruo,
--Edited by Lisa Miller,