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spaceMcGuire 1 and 2

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McGuire 1 and 2 are pressurized-water reactors (PWRs) operated by the Duke Power Company, each with a capacity to generate 1,129 megawatts (1.1 billion watts) of electricity (MWe). McGuire Nuclear Station is in northwestern Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, 17 miles northwest of Charlotte, adjacent to Lake Norman.

McGuire 1 began commercial operation in 1981, and McGuire 2 in 1984. McGuire 1 is licensed by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to operate until the year 2021, and McGuire 2 until 2023.

Utility Contact Information

Duke Power Company
PO Box 33189
422 South Church Street
Charlotte, NC 28242

Telephone: 704-594-0887
Fax: 704-382-4360
Web Site:

Plant Performance and Economic Data

[The data in the charts below was gathered from government sources by Public Citizen's Critical Mass Energy Project in: Jim Riccio and Lisa Brooks, Nuclear Lemons: An Assessment of America's Worst Commercial Nuclear Power Plants, Fifth Edition, 1996. For a copy of this useful report, contact Public Citizen. "Rank Among US Nuclear Plants" is based on Critical Mass Energy Project's ranking of "nuclear lemons," in which the lowest ranking (1 of 109) is worst and the highest (109 of 109) is best.]

Capacity Factor represents the percentage of a plant's electrical generating capacity that is actually utilized over a given period of time. The lower the capacity factor, the less electricity the plant generated relative to its total generating capacity. The data below is from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

McGuire 1 Capacity Factor

Plant 3-Year Average71.6%
Industry 3-Year Average75.7%
Rank Among US Nuclear Plants26 of 109

McGuire 2 Capacity Factor

Plant 3-Year Average82.7%
Industry 3-Year Average75.7%
Rank Among US Nuclear Plants64 of 109

Operation and Maintenance (O&M) Costs are routine plant operating expenses, not including nuclear fuel, major repairs, or the capital cost of constructing the plant. They are expressed in mills per kilowatt-hour (mills/kwH)---that is, in units of one-tenth of a cent per kilowatt-hour of electricity produced by the plant over a given period of time. Utilities often aggregate O&M costs for multiple reactors at the same site, because many site O&M costs are shared. The data below is from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

McGuire 1 and 2 O&M Costs

1992-94 Average17.52
1993-95 Average16.71
3-Year Average17.12
Industry 3-Year Average24.82
Rank Among US Nuclear Plants83 of 109

Plant Safety Data, detailed below, is based on the operating experience of the reactor to date, using normal, low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel. Using warhead plutonium in mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel raises a number of additional safety risks, which are detailed in a paper by Dr. Edwin Lyman, scientific director of the Nuclear Control Institute, but not reflected in the data below.

Systematic Assessment of Licensee Performance (SALP) is NRC's grading of nuclear plants on four criteria: operations, maintenance, engineering, and plant support. For each criterion, a plant is ranked 1 ("superior"), 2 ("good"), or 3 ("adequate"). Thus, a lower SALP is a better ranking. The data below are from NRC, and represent plant averages in the four categories.

McGuire 1 and 2 SALP Averages

SALP Average1.88
Industry SALP Average1.59
Rank Among US Nuclear Plants28 of 109

The following table presents other important safety data. Safety System Actuations is the number of times in a given period that a plant activated its emergency core cooling or emergency power. Safety System Failures is the number of occurrences in a given period that conditions or events arose which could prevent the successful function of safety systems. "Scrams" is the number of emergency plant shutdowns in a given period. Violations represents the number of violations of NRC regulations in a given period. Worker Exposure represents the collective exposure of a nuclear plant's workforce in a given period, measured in Rems (a unit of radiation). These data from NRC represent annual averages for a three-year period.

McGuire 1 Safety Data, 1993-1995

Safety IssueMcGuire 1 AverageIndustry AverageRank Among US Nuclear Plants
Safety System Actuations0.00.684 of 109
Safety System Failures2.32.438 of 109
"Scrams"1.01.0244 of 109
NRC Violations27.325.234 of 109
Worker Exposure157.3 rem197.8 rem59 of 109

McGuire 2 Safety Data, 1993-1995

Safety IssueMcGuire 2 AverageIndustry AverageRank Among US Nuclear Plants
Safety System Actuations1.00.616 of 109
Safety System Failures1.72.454 of 109
"Scrams"0.31.0281 of 109
NRC Violations27.325.234 of 109
Worker Exposure157.3 rem197.8 rem59 of 109

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