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PSEG takes New Jersey nuclear power unit offline for R&M outage

Public Service Enterprise Group’s (PSEG) nuclear division has taken its New Jersey Salem Unit 1 offline for a planned refueling and maintenance outage this month.

The 1,169-MW Salem 1 is among three nuclear reactors units operated by PSEG in Salem County. Collectively, the units produce 40 percent of New Jersey’s electricity and 90 percent of its carbon-free power.

PSEG is continuing many of the protocols and precautions instituted during the Salem 2 outage earlier this year in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, such as increased cleaning and sanitization protocols, remote work to minimize the number of on-site employees, physical distancing where possible, and a health questionnaire and temperature screening for every individual entering the site.

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“Over the past several months, our fleet has gathered valuable lessons learned in operating safely during this unprecedented pandemic,” PSEG Chief Nuclear Officer Eric Carr said. “Specifically, our successful spring outage earlier this year has given us a blueprint for protecting our team members and the community while efficiently completing the necessary work of refueling our unit for the next 18-month operating cycle.”

In addition, new initiatives have been implemented to bolster health and safety, which include extra trailers for better social and physical distancing, and new personal protective equipment for those personnel who must operate in close quarters.

PSEG considers nuclear power plants such as Salem a pillar of its goal to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. This multi-week refueling and maintenance outage involves thousands of inspections and mechanical activities.

The Salem Nuclear Power Plant is owned by both PSEG and Exelon Generation. The first units were commissioned in the late 1970s and early ‘80s.

The power units house Westinghouse pressurized water reactors with a complete capacity of more than 2,300 MW.

(Rod Walton is content director for Power Engineering, POWERGEN International and the POWERGEN+ online series. He can be reached at 918-831-9177 and [email protected]).

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