Susquehanna nuclear plant inspects unit for turbine blade cracking

Source: PPL Susquehanna

The Susquehanna nuclear power plant, located in Luzerne County The Unit 2 reactor at PPL's (NYSE:PPL) Susquehanna nuclear power plant in Luzerne County, Pa., shut down on Wednesday (5/30) for a planned inspection of its turbine.

Workers will inspect turbine blades from the Unit 2 low-pressure turbine for indications of cracking following the discovery of cracks during recent inspections of the Unit 1 turbine. The cracks on the Unit 1 turbine were similar to, but less extensive than, those discovered and repaired on both turbines in 2011.

"We are prepared to perform the inspection and any turbine blade replacements that may be needed for the continued safe operation of the unit," said Timothy S. Rausch, PPL Susquehanna senior vice president and chief nuclear officer. "Nuclear safety drives all of our decisions in operating the plant and addressing equipment issues."

Workers also will install additional diagnostic equipment on the turbine to complement the equipment installed in 2011. PPL will use the data from the equipment to validate the suspected causes of the turbine blade cracking currently under engineering review.

Workers are wrapping up outage tasks on Unit 1 and are preparing it for restart in the near future.

PPL Corporation previously announced that the financial impact of the additional turbine work on both Unit 1 and Unit 2 at the Susquehanna plant, including energy sales margins and repair costs, is not expected to be material, and that the company is maintaining its 2012 forecast of $2.15 to $2.45 per share in earnings from ongoing operations.

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 LLC.

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