You may have noticed over the past few weeks that a number of nuclear plants are shut down for refueling outages or are resuming operations after just returning from one. This type of routine outage usually occurs in the spring or fall when electricity demand is low so that nuclear reactors can replace about one-third of the spent fuel rods with new fuel and conduct other routine maintenance and repairs at the plant.
get a better sense of how refueling works at a nuclear energy facility,
I spoke with Marcus Nichol, NEI’s senior project manager for used fuel
storage and transportation, and asked him to explain the basics.