Wolf Creek power plant, where our electricity comes from

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TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Wolf Creek Generating Station, near Burlington, Kan., is a Westinghouse nuclear water reactor producing more than 1,200,000 kilowatts of electricity.


The plant cost $3 billion to build and employs 900 people. Wolf Creek went online on Sept. 3, 1985 with an operating license of 40 years, through 2025. In 2008, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved a license renewal that allows 20 additional years of operation, through 2045.

The plant serves the Western half of Missouri and eastern half of Kansas with approximately 1.6 million customers.


Wolf Creek’s reactor is approximately 44 feet high by 14 feet wide. It is made
from manganese molybdenum alloy steel with a stainless steel liner. The reactor
is housed in a concrete containment building, which is 208 feet high by 140 feet
wide. The structure is pre-stressed, post-tensioned concrete approximately three
feet thick.

The interior is lined with a leak-tight carbon steel barrier.
The fuel is comprised of uranium ceramic pellets. Each pellet is the energy equivalent of about one ton of coal, 150 gallons of oil, or 160 gallons of gasoline. Energy from four uranium pellets can provide an average American home with energy for one year. About 35 percent of the fuel is replaced every 18 months during planned maintenance and refueling outages.

The plant serves the Western half of Missouri and eastern half of Kansas with approximately 1.6 million customers. It is jointly-owned by Evergy and Kansas Electric Power Cooperative, Inc.

Special thanks to Evergy Inc. for providing information for this story.

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