Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Plant

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Generating Station
HD.6D.139 (10821938374).jpg
Construction activities at the Joseph M. Farley Power Plant.
Official nameJoseph M. Farley Nuclear Plant
CountryUnited States
LocationDothan, Alabama
Coordinates31°13′23″N 85°6′42″W / 31.22306°N 85.11167°W / 31.22306; -85.11167Coordinates: 31°13′23″N 85°6′42″W / 31.22306°N 85.11167°W / 31.22306; -85.11167
Construction beganOctober 1, 1970 (1970-10-01)
Commission dateUnit 1: December 1, 1977
Unit 2: July 30, 1981
Construction cost$4.115 billion (2007 USD)[1]
Owner(s)Alabama Power
Operator(s)Southern Nuclear
Nuclear power station
Reactor typePWR
Reactor supplierWestinghouse
Cooling towers6 × Mechanical Draft
Cooling sourceChattahoochee River
Thermal capacity2 × 2775 MWth
Power generation
Units operational1 × 874 MW
1 × 883 MW
Make and modelWH 3-loop (DRYAMB)
Nameplate capacity1757 MW
Capacity factor96.18% (2017)
85.50% (lifetime)
Annual net output14,804 GWh (2017)
External links
WebsitePlant Farley

The Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Generating Plant is located near Dothan, Alabama in the southern United States. The twin-unit nuclear power station sits on a largely wooded and agricultural 1,850-acre (750 ha) site along the Chattahoochee River, approximately 5 miles (8.0 km) south of Columbia, Alabama in Houston County.


The plant is named after the late Joseph McConnell Farley, an American attorney born in Birmingham, Alabama who became president of Alabama Power (owner of the facility) from 1969 to 1989 and was later CEO of Southern Nuclear Operating Company; both companies are subsidiaries of Southern Company.

Construction of the plant began in 1970. Fluor Corporation of Irving, Texas was the general contractor. Unit 1 achieved commercial operation in December 1977. Unit 2 began commercial operation in July 1981. The total cost of the plant was about $1.57 billion. On May 12, 2005, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approved license renewal applications for both reactors at the site. Unit 1's extended operating license is set to expire on June 25, 2037 and Unit 2's on March 31, 2041.


This plant has two Westinghouse reactors.

  • Unit 1: 2,775 MWt
  • Unit 2: 2,775 MWt

Both units are three-loop pressurized water reactors. The facility is cooled using six mechanical draft cooling towers supplied by water from the Chattahoochee River.[2]


Surrounding population[edit]

The NRC defines two emergency planning zones around nuclear power plants: a plume exposure pathway zone with a radius of 10 miles (16 km), concerned primarily with exposure to, and inhalation of, airborne radioactive contamination, and an ingestion pathway zone of about 50 miles (80 km), concerned primarily with ingestion of food and liquid contaminated by radioactivity.[3]

The 2010 U.S. population within 10 miles (16 km) of Farley was 11,842, an increase of 8.0 percent in a decade, according to an analysis of U.S. Census data for The 2010 U.S. population within 50 miles (80 km) was 421,374, an increase of 6.1 percent since 2000. Cities within 50 miles include Dothan (17 miles to city center).[4]

Seismic risk[edit]

The NRC's estimate of the risk each year of an earthquake intense enough to cause core damage to the reactor at Farley was 1 in 35,714, according to an NRC study published in August 2010.[5][6]


  1. ^ "EIA - State Nuclear Profiles". Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  2. ^ EIA State Nuclear Profiles; Alabama Nuclear Profile 2010 Accessed 4 August 2013
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-10-02. Retrieved 2012-03-14.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ Bill Dedman, Nuclear neighbors: Population rises near US reactors,, April 14, 2011 Accessed May 1, 2011.
  5. ^ Bill Dedman, "What are the odds? US nuke plants ranked by quake risk,", March 17, 2011 Accessed April 19, 2011.
  6. ^

External links[edit]