Laguna Verde uprate signed off

21 February 2013

Iberdrola Ingenieria has formally announced the completion of a five-year project to upgrade Mexico's only nuclear power plant, Laguna Verde.

Laguna Verde (Iberdrola)_460
Laguna Verde (Image: Iberdrola)

The $650 million project to upgrade equipment at plant and increase its capacity by 20% has been described by the Iberdrola subsidiary as "one of the most complex and ambitious initiatives ever undertaken" within its field. The plant has formally remained in operation throughout, with all of the work completed during scheduled refuelling outages. Laguna Verde's two boiling water reactors (BWRs) have been operating at the increased capacity of 820 MWe each since February 2011.

Mexico's Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), which operates the plant, awarded the modernization project to a consortium of Spain's Iberdrola Ingenieria (97%) in partnership with Alstom Mexicana (3%) in 2007. Key modifications carried out at the plant have included replacement of the main capacitor, steam separators and heaters, the turbogroup, ventilation systems, heating and air-conditioning, auxiliary systems and electrical systems (transformers, isolated phase bus ducts and main circuit breaker). Iberdrola Ingenieria carried out the design, engineering, equipment and material supply, installation, assembly, training and testing for the project.

The work will allow the two units, which began commercial operation in 1990 and 1995 respectively, to extend their operating lifetimes. The reactorsare currently licensed until 2020 and 2025 respectively. Mexico's nuclear regulator is conducting a review process prior to the issuance of new licences for operation at increased power.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News