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PPL Susquehanna Shuts Down Unit 1 Reactor for Planned Maintenance


PPL Susquehanna Shuts Down Unit 1 Reactor for Planned Maintenance

Operators at PPL’s Susquehanna nuclear power plant in Luzerne County, Pa., safely shut down the Unit 1 reactor Saturday (10/13) for planned maintenance to improve operation of the rods that are used to control the nuclear reaction.

“This planned outage is part of our comprehensive effort to correct increased friction between control rods and the fuel bundles that surround them,” said Neil Gannon, vice president of Nuclear Operations for PPL Susquehanna. “The condition is not unique to Susquehanna; it’s been identified and corrected in other nuclear power plants.”

PPL chose to perform this work in the fall, when electricity use is lower than in the summer and winter, and replacement power is less expensive.

Through routine testing, plant operators identified increased friction between some of the unit’s 185 control rods and the uranium fuel bundles that surround them. Control rods can be inserted between the fuel bundles to speed up, slow down or stop the nuclear reaction.

“We will draw on our experience and proven industry techniques to reduce friction between the control rods and fuel bundles,” Gannon said. “We’ve already successfully completed similar work on Susquehanna Unit 2.”

In addition to addressing the friction issue, PPL will perform other maintenance during this planned outage, and expects to restart the Unit 1 reactor in about three weeks.

The plant’s Unit 2 reactor continues to operate at full power.

The projected cost of the outage, including the expected cost of replacement power, is reflected in PPL Corporation’s previously announced 2007 earnings forecasts.


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