Wolf Creek is a finalist for the 8 Wonders of Kansas Commerce because it is the first and only nuclear power generating station in Kansas.
Wolf Creek Generating Station has been safely providing clean energy to the citizens of Kansas and Missouri since 1985. The plant generates about 1,200 megawatt electrical, which is enough energy for approximately 800,000 homes.
The plant generates electricity by heating water to produce steam. Steam turns turbines that spin a magnet inside an electrical generator, thus producing electricity. No gas, oil, or coal is burned as a heat source. Wolf Creek produces heat by splitting atoms of uranium fuel. (Kansas Guidebook for Explorers, 2005)
"Since initial operation, we have been committed to producing safe, reliable, cost-effective electricity," said Rick Muench, president and chief executive officer. "We pride ourselves not only on our production history but also on our commitment to environmental stewardship and community involvement."
In addition to electricity production, Wolf Creek has a positive impact on the economy of both Coffey County and the state of Kansas. This is evident in a recent study of the economic benefits of Wolf Creek, conducted by the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI). The study revealed that Wolf Creek contributes $165 million annually to the local and state economy in the form of payroll, purchases and taxes.
Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corporation is a subsidiary of three owners:
- Kansas City Power & Light, a Great Plains Energy Company (47 percent)
- Kansas Gas and Electric, a Westar Energy Company (47 percent)
- Kansas Electric Power Cooperative (6 percent).
WCNOC manages the plant for its owners, who share its energy in proportion to their ownership interest.
A SAMPLING OF LANDMARKS:
2008 - Completed Refuel 16 and surpassed more than 9 million hours worked without a lost-time accident.
2008 - Completed Refuel 15 in 34 days, 7 hours, 8 minutes, which was the shortest in Wolf Creek history.
2006 - Completed longest continuous run, 506 days; second breaker-to-breaker run for Wolf Creek.
1998 - Highest capacity factor of 99.9 percent - fourth in the world.
1996 - Wolf Creek Lake (now Coffey County Lake) opened to public fishing.
1995 - Produced 10,494,705 gross Mwh of electricity (more electricity than any other U.S. single-unit nuclear plant).
1994 - Lowest fuel cost of U.S. nuclear plants for the fifth consecutive year.
1992 - Lowest production costs of U.S. nuclear power plants, $12.49/Mwh.
1991 - World record 487 days of continuous operation.
The plant is located in Coffey County just northeast of Burlington around the New Strawn area or about 55 miles south of Topeka on U.S. 75.
PLACES TO LEARN MORE ABOUT WOLF CREEK
The Coffey County Historical Museum, at 1101 Neosho, in Burlington displays pictures and facts about Wolf Creek. Open Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday 1-4 p.m. Phone: 888.877.2653.
Call Dwight Eisenhower Learning Center for group tour reservations, 620.364.4141. This is the learning center for Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corporation employees. You can peer into a window of the control room simulator that monitors each stage of electricity production.
Wolf Creek Environmental Education Area Nature Trails are located 1 1/4 miles east of U.S. 75 on 17th (5 miles north of Burlington). A fun observation tower is a silo with a 65-step spiral staircase inside. Three nature trails guide you through a variety of habitats.
Coffey County Lake, 2 miles north, and then 1 mile east of Burlington. Across the lake is the Wolf Creek nuclear plant dome. Called the Crown Jewel of Kansas fisheries, this lake provides cooling for the Wolf Creek Generating Station.