Uranium oxide pellets, about 1/4-inch
wide by 3/8-inch long.
Fuel Rods: Zirconium
alloy tubes, approx. 3/8-inch wide by 14 feet
long, holding 426 pellets each.
Bundles of 264 rods, about 8 inches square and
14 feet long.
Reactor Core: 193
fuel assemblies, arranged in a circular pattern 10.5
feet across and 14 feet high.
one-third of the assemblies are replaced, on average,
every 18 months.
Each of the tiny fuel pellets has the energy of nearly
a ton of coal. If
coal was burned instead of uranium, it would take 15
million tons of ore - enough to fill 150,000 railroad
cars in a train 1,500 miles long - to equal each core's
Pressurized water reactor, 45 feet high and 15 feet
Carbon steel vessel, six-inch-thick walls
One megawatt provides enough power for 500 to 1,000
homes, based on seasonal electricity usage. Each STP
reactor can power more than 600,000 homes during the
summer peak usage period.
72 feet tall, 16 feet wide, 500+ tons
Heat exchangers; four per reactor
Reactor-heated water flows through 7,585 small tubes
in each generator, heating a separate water supply around
them into steam.
The steam generators in Unit 1 were replaced in 2000,
and the ones in Unit 2 were replaced in 2002.
Reactor Containment Buildings (RCBs)
200 feet above ground, 41.5 feet underground, 158
Wall: Steel-reinforced concrete, four
Fully lined with 3/8-inch-thick, carbon steel plates
Walls: Steel-reinforced concrete,
totaling eleven feet thick
Concrete, 18 feet thick
Reactor, pressurizer, steam generators, reactor coolant
pumps, associated piping and tubing, and support systems.
More than 500,000 cubic yards of concrete and 119 million
pounds of steel reinforcing bars are in STP's two reactor
containment buildings. The structures can withstand
a Category 5 hurricane, a 1.9G earthquake and the impact
of a Boeing 767 fully loaded with fuel.
High- and low-pressure steam turbines turn generator
Steam indirectly produced by a reactor (see Explore
Nuclear) spins blades of one high-pressure
and three low-pressure turbines connected to generator
rotor. 15 million pounds of steam, pressurized at 1,000
PSI, pass through the turbines every hour.
Rotor: 48 feet long, 5.5 feet
wide, 200 tons, magnetized, and rotating at 1,800 RPM
Hydrogen- and water-cooled, 559 tons (including rotor)
1,258 megawatts at 25,000 volts
The electricity produced by the generator travels through
conductors to the plant's switchyard, and then to the
transmission lines of the distribution grid. The flow
can be felt by touching the insulating ducts around
the three 10-inch conductors, each of which carries
more than 400 megawatts.
Area: 7,000 acres (11 square miles)
39 to 52 feet high, 14 miles around
45 feet (average)
200,000 acre-feet or 100 billion gallons (enough to
fill more than four million swimming pools)
Material: 22 million
cubic yards of fill and 1.4 million cubic yards of a
soil/cement mixture where used in building the embankment.
Item: The reservoir
provides a protected habitat for many species
of fish and birds as well as alligators, some of which
exceed 15 feet in length.
April 1976, with first pouring of concrete for Unit
1 RCB and initial excavation of reservoir
Completed and filling commenced in July 1983
1 RCB: Completed in August 1983; unit
went into commercial operation in August 1988
2 RCB: Completed in June 1986;
unit went online in June 1989
Force: At peak, about 10,000 contractors
worked at site
to the Top