Duke Energy Corporation has shut its 846 megawatt (MW) unit 3 at Oconee nuclear power station in South Carolina on early April 27, 2009 from full power on April 24, 2009, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said. The unit’s last shut for refueling was from about October 27, 2007 to December 19, 2007 and is on an 18-month refueling cycle. The electricity traders estimated that unit has probably shut for a planned month-long refueling outage anticipated to start in late April 2009.

The 2,538 MW Oconee station is situated in Seneca in Oconee county, around 145 miles northwest of Columbia, South Carolina and has entered service in 1973-74. The staion has three 846 MW units 1-3.

All of the other units at the station continued to operate at full power.

One MW powers around 700 homes in the Carolinas.

The NRC has renewed the plant’s original 40-year operating licenses in 2000, for additional 20 years until 2033-2034.