May 28 (Reuters) - PPL Corp said Wednesday it completed refueling and maintenance work on its 1,260-megawatt (MW) Unit 1 at the Susquehanna nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania but decided to keep the reactor shut for turbine work.
PPL decided to work on the turbine so the company can complete a root cause analysis of the plant’s turbine issues later this year, company spokesman Joe Scopelliti said in an email.
He did not say when the unit would likely return to service.
PPL has worked on or inspected the turbines at both Susquehanna units several times over the past few years. In some cases, the company has shut the unit specifically to look at the turbines, while in other cases PPL used a shutdown for other reasons such as refueling or an unplanned outage to inspect the turbines.
Since 2011, the company has inspected the turbines in Unit 1 at least five times and Unit 2 at least six times. Unit 2 most recently shut for a couple weeks in March for turbine work.
Scopelliti has said in the past the problem is with the low-pressure turbines. He said each unit has three low-pressure turbines and one high-pressure turbine. The low-pressure turbines were replaced in 2003 and 2004.
German engineering company Siemens AG manufactured the low-pressure turbines and is working with PPL to resolve the issue.
The high-pressure turbines, meanwhile, were replaced between 2008 and 2011 as part of an uprate or power increase for the reactors.
Meanwhile, the 1,260-MW Susquehanna 2 was operating at full power early Wednesday, according to a report by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
---------------------------------------------------------- PLANT BACKGROUND/TIMELINE STATE: Pennsylvania COUNTY: Luzerne TOWN: Salem Township OPERATOR: PPL Susquehanna LLC OWNER(S): PPL Corp (90 pct)
Allegheny Electric Coop Inc (10 pct) CAPACITY: 2,520 MW UNIT(S): 1 - 1,260-MW General Electric boiling water
2 - 1,260-MW General Electric boiling water
reactor FUEL: Nuclear DISPATCH: Baseload COST: $4.1 billion TIMELINE: 1983 - Unit 1 enters commercial service 1985 - Unit 2 enters commercial service 2008 - PPL files with NRC to build one of Areva SA’s
1,600 MW Evolutionary Power Reactors
(EPR) at the site to be called Bell Bend. PPL
estimated the new reactor could cost $10 billion 2009 - NRC renews 40-year licenses for Units 1 and 2 for
additional 20 years 2008-11 - PPL to uprate plant output by about 110 MW 2042 - Unit 1 extended license to expire 2044 - Unit 2 extended license to expire (Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)