18 Billion Kilowatt Hours of Carbon-Free Electricity…

That’s enough to light up New York City for three months. Or power 1.2 million homes for a year. Or keep your cell phone charged for 18 billion years.

It’s also how much electricity Unit 3 at Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant in Decatur, Ala., has safely and reliably produced in more than 650 consecutive days of operation. On February 20, the unit began a scheduled refueling and maintenance outage that will set it up to produce even more.

Outages are a normal, scheduled part of a nuclear plant’s life. “Outages like this are our best opportunity to prepare Unit 3 to continue to generate reliable, low-cost electricity for the next 24 months so we can better serve the people of the Tennessee Valley,” said Steve Bono, site vice president. “Beyond loading new fuel, we also do the maintenance and upgrades on plant equipment that help ensure Unit 3 operates safely and dependably in the coming months.”

An additional 1,500 TVA and contract employees are supplementing the site’s regular staff during THIS scheduled outage. Approximately 15,500 work activities are planned, including loading new fuel assemblies, performing inspections of reactor components, conducting maintenance and upgrades of plant equipment and installing modifications to improve safety margins.

The Browns Ferry team will also install upgraded equipment supporting a planned extended power uprate for all three units. When complete, this upgrade could add 465 megawatts of generating capability, which will enable the site to serve an additional 280,000 homes in the Tennessee Valley.

Browns Ferry Unit 3 is one of six operational TVA nuclear reactors that collectively supply nearly one-third of all the electricity used by more than 9 million people across the Tennessee Valley. A seventh reactor, Watts Bar Unit 2, recently completed construction and has completed loading fuel while continuing a series of tests to ensure operational readiness.

Find out more about TVA’s nuclear power program.

Ken Williams and Chris Golden, Browns Ferry electrical maintenance technicians, review a blueprint and work procedure while working on a Unit 3 reactor feed water pump. During the scheduled Unit 3 refueling and maintenance outage that started late Friday, all three reactor feed water pumps will be replaced with new and more powerful units designed to support planned extended power uprate (EPU) conditions. EPU upgrades like this will enable all three units to generate an additional 465 megawatts of electricity. That’s enough energy to serve an additional 280,000 homes in the Tennessee Valley.