Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station is the largest nuclear power plant in the United States. It is located in Tonopah, Maricopa County, Arizona, in the western United States. It is about 72km (45 miles) from Phoenix in the east. It is close to the Gila River, but does not use the Gila River as a cooling source.
This nuclear power plant has one of the largest power reactors in the world, with a single capacity of 1300MW. Therefore, only three reactors have become the largest nuclear power plant in the United States with an installed capacity of 3,942 MW. Its average electricity production is about 3.3 gigawatts (GW), which accounts for about 35% of Arizona’s electricity generation. The power plant has about 2,055 full-time employees and serves about 4 million people.
The power plant was fully put into operation in 1988, took 12 years to build, and cost approximately US$5.9 billion.
This nuclear power plant is built in the desert and is the only large nuclear power plant in the world that is not located near a large area of water. It collects sewage generated in nearby towns and uses the treated sewage as a cooling source for nuclear power plants.
Therefore, it has become a nuclear power plant with a higher level of danger because there is no water supply and the westerly wind prevails. If a major accident occurs, these will put the Phoenix-Mesa metropolitan area in danger.
To solve safety issues, 58 nuclear sirens were installed within a 10-mile radius of the plant. This area is called EPZ (Emergency Planning Zone) by the locals. In the event of any nuclear emergency, the siren will sound regularly. All alarms are tested every November.
Unit 1 and Unit 2 were put into commercial operation in 1986 and Unit 3 in 1988, respectively.
November 18, 2005. Increased the net power generation of the reactors of Unit 1 and Unit 3 from 1270MW to 1313MW.
On April 21, 2011, NRC renewed the operating licenses for the three reactors of Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, extending their service life from 40 to 60 years.
Unit-1 May 25, 1976
Unit-2 June 1, 1976
Unit-3 June 1, 1976
Unit-1 January 28, 1986
Unit-2 September 19, 1986
Unit-3 January 8, 1988
Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station Data
- North America
- In use
- Official name
- Palo Verde Generating Station
- Tonopah, Maricopa County, Arizona, USA
- Arizona Public Service (29.1%) Salt River Project (17.5%) El Paso Electric (15.8%) So. California Edison (15.8%) PNM Resources (10.2%) SCPPA (5.9%) LADWP (5.7%)
- Arizona Public Service
- US $5.9 billion
- May-25, 1976
- Jan-28, 1986
- Installed capacity
- 3942 MW
- Units operational
- 1 × 1311 MW 1 × 1314 MW 1 × 1312 MW
- Reactor type
- Reactor supplier
- Combustion Engineering
- Cooling source
- Treated sewage
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