The nuclear power industry is presently witnessing a renaissance. Global warming, greenhouse effects, concerns with use of as well as rising costs of fossil fuels, the desire to be weaned from foreign oil are all factors driving the need for increased reliance on nuclear power. Consequently, nuclear power plant owners are seeking to maximize the value of their generating assets through various means: improved operation, performance, capacity, availability, reliability and efficiency; license renewals, and; power uprates. Capacity factors are currently averaging well over 90% and, forced outage rates have decreased significantly, reflecting the maturation of operating and maintenance practices. In recognition of low fuel and relatively stable operating costs of their nuclear facilities, nuclear power plant owners have not only applied for license renewals, but have also upgraded the operation and, added electrical generating capacity to the operating units. Using a case study, this paper describes current efforts in maximizing the value of existing nuclear power plant generating assets. The focus of the paper is on maximizing benefits through improved operations and performance.

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