Insights > ANO Begins Scheduled Refueling Outage, Boosting Economy with 1,300 Additional Workers

ANO Begins Scheduled Refueling Outage, Boosting Economy with 1,300 Additional Workers


 Arkansas Nuclear One in Russellville, Arkansas
Arkansas Nuclear One in Russellville, Arkansas

RUSSELLVILLE, Arkansas – Control room operators removed Arkansas Nuclear One’s Unit 2 from service over the weekend to begin the plant’s 28th scheduled refueling and maintenance outage following months of safe, secure and reliable operation. During the outage, station and contract workers will perform maintenance and testing activities to prepare the plant for its next operating cycle.

Refueling, maintenance and testing activities will be completed by more than 1,100 full-time ANO employees and supported by Entergy employees from other nuclear plants, as well as contract workers. The influx of more than 1,300 contract workers throughout the duration of the outage, many from outside the area, and their associated spending will provide an economic boost to the local communities.

“Refuel outages are necessary to refuel the plant, allowing us to provide safe and reliable electricity in a cost-effective manner. These outages provide an economic boost for local businesses and temporary housing providers,” said John Dinelli, ANO site vice president.

Similar to fueling a vehicle, nuclear plants require refueling roughly every 18 to 24 months. Refueling outages typically are scheduled in the fall or spring when power demand is lower.

Refuels begin when plant operators take the unit offline, and the work begins. The team replaces a portion of the fuel in the reactor, shuffles current fuel rods and replaces the removed fuel with new fuel.

While the unit is offline, the team completes maintenance work and other projects to improve reliability. Every detail of a refueling outage is meticulously planned and every ANO worker plays an important role.

To ensure the safety of ANO employees and supplemental workers, COVID-19 prevention protocols will be enforced at the station. That includes mandatory mask wearing, social distancing, frequent cleaning and disinfecting of areas, as well as having employees stay home if they feel sick.

Arkansas Nuclear One, owned by Entergy Arkansas, is a dual unit pressurized water reactor located in Russellville. ANO’s Unit 2 has operated since 1980, when it connected to the grid alongside Unit 1, which became operational in 1974. Today, the plant generates enough electricity to power nearly one million households, all carbon-free. The station boasts a team of more than 1,100 highly trained and dedicated nuclear professionals, committed to their plant and community. Unit 1 will continue operating during the Unit 2 refuel.

Entergy Nuclear owns, operates, supports and provides management services to a national fleet of seven reactors in six locations, generating approximately 7,000 megawatts of zero-carbon nuclear power. With approximately 5,000 nuclear employees in multiple states, Entergy is also recognized globally as a nuclear leader.

Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged in electric power production, transmission and retail distribution operations. Entergy delivers electricity to 3 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy owns and operates one of the cleanest large-scale U.S. power generating fleets with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including 7,000 megawatts of nuclear power. Headquartered in New Orleans, Louisiana, Entergy has annual revenues of $10 billion and more than 13,000 employees. 

Kaylin Parker
Communications Specialist II