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Unit One shuts down at Susquehanna

By Randy Kraft, WFMZ.com Reporter, RKraft@wfmz.com
Published On: May 09 2013 12:30:23 PM CDT
PPL's Susquehanna nuclear power plant

PPL

BERWICK, Pa. -

Operators at PPL's Susquehanna nuclear power plant disconnected Unit 1 from the regional power grid early Thursday for a scheduled outage to install turbine modifications.

The modifications are the first phase of a long-term plan that is expected to resolve turbine blade issues that have affected plant operations in recent years.

"Our conservative approach to resolve the issue by carefully monitoring blade performance and investing in the needed modifications reflects our commitment to the safe operation of the plant," said Timothy S. Rausch, PPL Susquehanna senior vice president and Chief Nuclear Officer.

Workers made the same modifications to Unit 2 during its regularly scheduled refueling outage, which began April 13 and is still ongoing.

They inspected Unit 2's turbines and replaced several pieces of its turbine assembly.

Rausch said turbine blade issues have affected both Susquehanna units.

Both units are expected back in service by the start of summer.

The Susquehanna plant, located in Luzerne County about seven miles north of Berwick, is owned jointly by PPL Susquehanna LLC and Allegheny Electric Cooperative Inc. and is operated by PPL Susquehanna.