Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant

Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant
Location of Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant in Texas
Country United States
Location Somervell County, near Glen Rose, Texas
Coordinates 32°17.9′N 97°47.1′W / 32.2983°N 97.7850°W / 32.2983; -97.7850Coordinates: 32°17.9′N 97°47.1′W / 32.2983°N 97.7850°W / 32.2983; -97.7850
Status Operational
Construction began 1974-93
Commission date Unit 1: April 17, 1990
Unit 2: April 6, 1993
Operator(s) Luminant Generation Co.
Nuclear power station
Reactor type pressurized water reactor
Reactor supplier Westinghouse
Cooling source Squaw Creek Reservoir
Cooling towers no
Power generation
Units operational Unit 1: 1084 MW
Unit 2: 1124 MW
Units planned 2 x 1700 MW

Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant is located in Somervell County, Texas. The nuclear power plant is located 40 miles (65 km) southwest of Ft. Worth and about 60 miles (100 km) southwest of Dallas. It relies on nearby Squaw Creek Reservoir for cooling water. The plant has about 1,300 employees and is operated by Luminant Generation, a subsidiary of Energy Future Holdings Corporation.

Construction of the two Westinghouse pressurized water reactors began in 1974. Unit 1, originally rated at 1,084 MWe, came online on April 17, 1990. Its current, 40-year operating license is valid until February 8, 2030. Unit 2, 1,124 MWe, followed on April 6, 1993 and is licensed to operate until February 2, 2033 when it has to renew its license. As of 2006 Unit 2 was the second-last power reactor to come online in the USA, followed only by Watts Bar 1.

In June 2008, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approved a request to increase the generating capacity of units 1 and 2 by approximately 4.5% each. Luminant Generation Co. implemented the changes during refueling outages. Unit 1 was uprated in autumn 2008 with a capacity increase of approximately 1,210 to 1,259 MWe and Unit 2, the capacity of which rose from an estimated 1,208 to 1,245 MWe, was uprated in autumn 2009.[1]

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.[2]

The 2010 U.S. population within 10 miles (16 km) of Comanche Peak was 30,653, an increase of 44.1 percent in a decade, according to an analysis of U.S. Census data for The 2010 U.S. population within 50 miles (80 km) was 1,755,528, an increase of 22.9 percent since 2000. Cities within 50 miles include Fort Worth (41 miles to city center).[3]

Proposed units 3 and 4

On September 19, 2008, Luminant filed an application with the NRC for a Combined Construction and Operating License (COL) for two new reactors.[4] The reactor design selected is the US version of the 1,700 MWe Advanced Pressurized Water Reactor (US-APWR), developed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI). The project is a joint venture, with Luminant owning 88 percent and 12 percent owned by MHI.[5] Luminant did not release an estimate of the project's cost, but CEO David Campbell said Luminant would try to build its new reactors at the low end of current industry estimates, which he said range from $2,500 to $6,000 a kilowatt — $8.5 billion to $20.4 billion for a 3,400 MW plant.[6]

Some environmental and anti-nuclear organizations and individuals oppose the plant expansion, citing environmental, public safety and cost concerns. These include the Sustainable Energy and Economic Development Coalition, Public Citizen and state Rep. Lon Burnam.[7]

Currently as of November 2013, expansion has been suspended due to factors of a natural gas boom dramatically lowering power prices in Texas and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries suspending development of their reactor design to focus on restarting their reactors in Japan. The Texas power generation company is not withdrawing its application to the NRC entirely, leaving open the possibility that it might eventually expand.[8][9]

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 Comanche Peak was 1 in 250,000, according to an NRC study published in August 2010.[10][11]

Reactor data

The Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant consists of two operational reactors, two additional units are planned.

Reactor unit[12] Reactor type Capacity Construction started Electricity grid connection Commercial operation Shutdown
Net Gross
Comanche Peak-1 Westinghouse 4-loop 1209 MW 1259 MW 19.12.1974 24.04.1990 13.08.1990
Comanche Peak-2 Westinghouse 4-loop 1197 MW 1250 MW 19.12.1974 09.04.1993 03.08.1993
Comanche Peak-3 (planned)[13] US-APWR 1700 MW MW
Comanche Peak-4 (planned)[14] US-APWR 1700 MW MW


  1. "Comanche Peak to increase output". World Nuclear News. 2008-06-30. Retrieved 2008-09-19.
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-10-02. Retrieved 2013-12-13.
  3. Bill Dedman, Nuclear neighbors: Population rises near US reactors,, April 14, 2011 Accessed May 1, 2011.
  4. "Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant, Units 3 and 4 Application". U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). 2008-09-19. Retrieved 2008-09-19.
  5. "Luminant seeks permission to expand nuclear power plant". Dallas Business Journal. 2008-09-19. Retrieved 2008-09-19.
  6. O'Grady, Eileen (2008-09-19). "Luminant seeks new reactor, 3rd Texas filing". Reuters. Retrieved 2008-09-19.
  7. Hearing today involves opponents to new reactors at Comanche Peak
  8. Expansion of Comanche Peak nuclear power plant suspended
  9. "Mitsubishi delays certification of APWR". World Nuclear News. 12 November 2013. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
  10. Bill Dedman, "What are the odds? US nuke plants ranked by quake risk,", March 17, 2011 Accessed April 19, 2011.
  12. Power Reactor Information System of the IAEA: „United States of America: Nuclear Power Reactors- Alphabetic“ Archived June 4, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  13. Power Reactor Information System of the IAEA: „Nuclear Power Reactor Details - COMANCHE PEAK-3“
  14. Power Reactor Information System of the IAEA: „Nuclear Power Reactor Details - COMANCHE PEAK-4“

External links

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