Perry Nuclear Generating Station

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Perry Nuclear Power Plant
Perry as seen from Headlands Beach State Park, Ohio
Perry as seen from Headlands Park, Ohio
CountryUnited States
LocationNorth Perry, Lake County, Ohio
Coordinates41°48′3″N 81°8′36″W / 41.80083°N 81.14333°W / 41.80083; -81.14333Coordinates: 41°48′3″N 81°8′36″W / 41.80083°N 81.14333°W / 41.80083; -81.14333
Construction beganOctober 1, 1974 (1974-10-01)[1][2]
Commission dateNovember 18, 1987[1]
Construction cost$6.024 billion (2007 USD)[3]
Operator(s)FirstEnergy Nuclear
Nuclear power station
Reactor typeBWR
Reactor supplierGeneral Electric
Cooling towers2 × Natural Draft
(one in use)
Cooling sourceLake Erie
Thermal capacity1 × 3758 MWth
Power generation
Units operational1 × 1256 MW
Make and modelBWR-6 (Mark 3)
Units cancelled1 × 1205 MW
Nameplate capacity1256 MW
Capacity factor89.18% (2017)
80.80% (lifetime)
Annual net output10718 GWh (2018)
External links
CommonsRelated media on Commons

The Perry Nuclear Power Plant is located on a 1,100 acres (450 ha) site on Lake Erie, 40 miles (64 km) northeast of Cleveland in North Perry, Ohio, US. The nuclear power plant is owned by First Energy Nuclear Operating Corporation.

The reactor is a General Electric BWR-6 boiling water reactor design, with a Mark III containment design. The original core power level of 3,579 megawatts thermal was increased to 3,758 megawatts thermal in 2000, making Perry one of the largest BWRs in the United States.

Perry was expected to close in 2021.[4] However, the State of Ohio signed into law in July 2019 to provide incentives to keep the plant open beyond the closure date.[5]


Perry was originally designed as a two-unit installation, but construction on Unit 2 was suspended in 1985 and formally cancelled in 1994. At the time of cancellation, all of the major buildings and structures for the second unit were completed, including the 500-foot-tall (150 m) cooling tower. It is possible that a second unit could be constructed on the site, but current economical and regulatory conditions are not conducive to doing so (in addition to back taxes that would be due to the "abandon in place" designations on many objects in Unit 2).

Eleven hundred acres at the Perry plant were designated in 1993 as an urban wildlife sanctuary by the National Institute for Urban Wildlife. The area has trees, shrubs, streams and ponds; and a habitat for heron, belted kingfisher, ducks and geese. The forested area is ideal for the crane-fly orchid, a rare species in Ohio. The site includes a wetland that contains spotted turtles, an endangered species in Ohio.[6]

On March 28, 2010, there was a fire in a lubrication system for one of the water pumps that feeds water for generation of steam. Reactor power automatically lowered to 68% due to the reduction in feed water flow, and the fire was extinguished in less than three hours. Two plant fire brigade personnel were brought to a local hospital for "heat stress" following the fire. No customers lost power during this event.[7] On February 9, 2016, the plant was unexpectedly shut down for maintenance to a recirculation pump. The reactor was brought back to full power by February 20, 2016.[8]

In addition to Perry, FirstEnergy also owns and operates the Davis-Besse and Beaver Valley nuclear plants.[9]

  Unit 1 Unit 2
Reactor Type BWR-6 BWR-6
Reactor Manufacturer General Electric General Electric
Turbine Manufacturer General Electric General Electric
Thermal Power 3,758 megawatts Unit canceled in 1994
Electrical Output 1,260 megawatts Unit canceled in 1994
Transmission System Connection 345,000 volts Unit canceled in 1994
Construction Permit Issued May 3, 1977 May 3, 1977 (construction suspended in 1985)
Initial Criticality June 1986 Unit canceled in 1994
First Electrical Generation November 13, 1986 Unit canceled in 1994
Operational Date November 18, 1987 Unit canceled in 1994
Expiration of Original License March 18, 2026 Unit canceled in 1994


The reactor is owned and operated by FirstEnergy. Four of its subsidiaries each own a share in the plant:

Company Percentage Notes
Cleveland Electric Illuminating 44.9%
Ohio Edison 30%
Pennsylvania Power 5.2% Ohio Edison subsidiary
Toledo Edison 19.9%

Surrounding population[edit]

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission 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.[10]

The 2010 U.S. population within 10 miles (16 km) of Perry was 83,410, an increase of 8 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 2,281,531, a decrease of 3.0 percent since 2000. Cities within 50 miles (80 km) include Cleveland (36 miles (58 km) to city center). Canadian population is not included in these figures.[11]

Seismic risk[edit]

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's estimate of the risk each year of an earthquake intense enough to cause core damage to the reactor at Perry was 1 in 47,619, according to an NRC study published in August 2010.[12][13]


  1. ^ a b Cass, Andrew (November 17, 2017). "Perry Nuclear Power Plant celebrates 30 years of commercial operation". The News-Herald. Retrieved November 19, 2017.
  2. ^ "PRIS - Reactor Details". International Atomic Energy Agency. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  3. ^ "EIA - State Nuclear Profiles". Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  4. ^ Funk, John (March 28, 2018). "FirstEnergy Solutions will close its nuclear power plants, but is silent on bankruptcy restructuring". The Plain Dealer. Cleveland, Ohio. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  5. ^ Pelzer, Jeremy (July 23, 2019). "Nuclear bailout bill passes Ohio legislature, signed by Gov. Mike DeWine". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved July 25, 2019.
  6. ^ "Ecological Stewardship of the Nuclear Energy Industry". Nuclear Energy Institute. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  7. ^ "Event Notification Report for March 29, 2010". U.S.N.R.C. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  8. ^ "Power Reactor Status Reports for 2016". Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Retrieved 3 April 2016.
  9. ^ "FirstEnergy". FirstEnergy. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  10. ^
  11. ^ Bill Dedman, Nuclear neighbors: Population rises near US reactors,, April 14, 2011 Accessed May 1, 2011.
  12. ^ Bill Dedman, "What are the odds? US nuke plants ranked by quake risk,", March 17, 2011 Accessed April 19, 2011.
  13. ^

External links[edit]