Ancient history on transforming nuclear plant to coal

Here’s an excerpt from a historical article I wrote about energy “transformation”…Featured in Ohio Business Magazine

“This visible Zimmer plant is Zimmer in its first incarnation—a nuclear-powered electric
generating plant that was halted when construction was 97 percent complete. But since January
1984, plans are moving ahead for a reincarnated, rejuvenated Zimmer Power Station, fired by
coal. It will be bigger, producing 1,300 megawatts instead of the 800 megawatt nuclear design. It
will be environmentally sound, fitted with state-of-the-art scrubbers to remove sulfur dioxide
from the 3.5 million tons of Ohio coal a year that will fuel its boiler.
It will utilize the already-constructed cooling tower to prevent hot water from upsetting
nature’s balance in the nearby Ohio River. In addition to the cooling tower, the station will use a
substantial portion of the existing nuclear plant’s equipment, including its low-pressure turbines
and generator. American Electric Power Co., parent of Columbus and Southern Ohio Electric
Co., and probably the world’s most experienced builder of 1,300 megawatt, coal- fired plants, is
responsible for the design, construction management, and operator training at Zimmer. AEP is
also furnishing some of the components.
Total estimated cost of the conversion is $1.7 billion.
Zimmer’s History
The Wm. H. Zimmer Nuclear Power Station was born in 1969, in the days when Ohio’s
economic growth was spiralling upwards at a steady 7 percent per annum. Those were the
halcyon days, before the accident at Three Mile Island. When the Zimmer partnership first broke
ground, nuclear power was viewed by many as Good rather than Evil and there were “only” 71
volumes of regulations imposed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to guide utility
companies in their construction of nuclear plants. Zimmer’s cost originally was pegged at $230

Read the whole schmear here…So far, it’s still working, tho Duke Energy has purchased this entire area’s electric/gas production.

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I am a semi-retired journalist with special interest in technologies & medicine. Renewable energy continues to intrigue me. I currently spend most of my time as exec director of a small non-profit, MANY VOICES ( which I founded 24 yrs ago for people recovering from childhood abuse & PTSD. But I remain interested in all technology, & if I see renewable energy subjects I can't resist, I may try to find viable magazine or news outlets for them. You can view my past technology writing at

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