River Bend Nuclear Generating Station

River Bend Nuclear Generating Station
Location of River Bend Nuclear Generating Station in Louisiana
Country United States
Location West Feliciana Parish, near St. Francisville, Louisiana
Coordinates 30°45.4′N 91°20′W / 30.7567°N 91.333°W / 30.7567; -91.333Coordinates: 30°45.4′N 91°20′W / 30.7567°N 91.333°W / 30.7567; -91.333
Commission date June 16, 1986
Owner(s) Entergy Gulf States Louisiana
Operator(s) Entergy Nuclear
Nuclear power station
Reactor type BWR-6
Reactor supplier General Electric
Power generation
Units operational 1 x 1010 MWe General Electric
Average generation 8.8 TWh

River Bend Nuclear Generating Station is a nuclear power station on a 3,300-acre (1,300 ha) site near St. Francisville, Louisiana, approximately 30 miles (50 km) north of Baton Rouge. The station has one sixth generation General Electric[1] boiling water reactor that has a nominal gross electric output of about 1010 MWe. Commercial operation began on June 16, 1986.

River Bend is operated by Entergy, which owns 100% of the station through its subsidiary, Entergy Gulf States Louisiana.

Units 2 and 3

The River Bend site was originally designed to have two identical units. Construction on Unit 1 began in 1973, but Unit 2 never broke ground. In 1984, plans to construct Unit 2 were officially abandoned.[2]

On September 25, 2008, Entergy filed a Combined Construction and Operating License (COL) application with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for Unit 3, a new nuclear reactor at River Bend. The 1550 MWe Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR) was the selected design.[3][4] The reactor's cost was estimated at $6.2 billion.[5]

On January 9, 2009, Entergy indefinitely postponed work towards the license and construction of Unit 3.

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.[6]

The 2010 U.S. population within 10 miles (16 km) of River Bend was 23,466, an increase of 11.1 percent in a decade, according to an analysis of U.S. Census data for msnbc.com. The 2010 U.S. population within 50 miles (80 km) was 951,103, an increase of 11.2 percent since 2000. Cities within 50 miles include Baton Rouge (25 miles to city center).[7]

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 River Bend was 1 in 40,000, according to an NRC study published in August 2010.[8][9]

Safety record

Unlike the Waterford Nuclear Generating Station downriver in Hahnville, River Bend continued operation throughout Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The plant was shut down during Hurricane Gustav in 2008.[5]

In July 2010, Entergy reported to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that nine operators violated federal regulations by surfing the internet while on duty in the reactor's control room.[10] As a result, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued several Severity Level III and IV citations to the operators, as well as a separate citation to Entergy.

See also


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