Nuclear, Reactors

Unit 2 at Susquehanna Nuclear Plant returned to service

Unit 2 at PPL Corporation’s Susquehanna nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania resumed generating electricity for the regional power grid on Nov. 19 after completing a turbine blade inspection and repairing a computer system that malfunctioned on Nov. 9, causing operators to shut down the reactor.

The previously announced turbine inspection revealed signs of cracking on a small number of blades. Those blades have been replaced.

“The inspections and repairs we performed this fall on both units confirmed data provided by diagnostic equipment we installed on the turbines and give us confidence in moving forward with the long-term solutions we will install on both units starting next spring,” said Timothy S. Rausch, PPL Susquehanna senior vice president and chief nuclear officer. “The inspections and repairs reflect our continued commitment to a safety-first approach in operating the plant.”

PPL said the computer system malfunction was caused by the failure of a processing unit, which workers replaced during the outage. PPL Susquehanna will replace the processing unit for a similar system on the Unit 1 reactor in the near future. That work will be done while the reactor is operating.

The after-tax financial impact of the most recent turbine inspections on both units, which includes reduced energy-sales margins and repair expenses, is expected to be about $25 million. PPL Corporation is maintaining its 2012 forecast of $2.30 to $2.40 per share in earnings from ongoing operations.

Unit 1 at the Susquehanna plant is operating at full power.