Mar 4, 2013 10:49 PM by Cameron Polom, KSBY News

PG&E spends millions to maintain, upgrade power plant

After nearly two months offline, PG&E is putting the finishing touches on a 52-day maintenance operation.

Diablo Canyon's Number Two reactor was shut down for scheduled maintenance in February. Chief Nuclear Officer Edward Halpin says, like everything else at the power plant, the job is huge. During the outage, workers will conduct 11,000 different outage-related operations over the 52-day work period.

"Our focus again is trying to make sure that we invest in the units," said Halpin. "This outage we have replaced some critical systems and upgraded them so the units will continue to run safely and reliably."

The project costs PG&E $1 million every day.

"We have brought in about a thousand of our contractor teammates to help our work force implement that outage," Halpin added.

Thousands of workers means millions spent in the local economy. According to PG&E, those workers spent more than $5 million at local business during the last outage.

PG&E says things are running ahead of schedule and crews could have Unit Two back up and running by the end of the month. The power up process typically takes about four days before the reactor is at full strength.



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