PSEG not powering down nuclear units for Sandy, yet anyway

While New Jersey is at the center of the storm, Public Service Enterprise Group (NYSE: PSEG) does not currently plan to power down two of its three nuclear units in the state – although one is already out-of-service for a regularly-scheduled outage.

“Salem Unit 1 and Hope Creek are at full power,” PSEG Nuclear spokesperson Joe Delmar said in an email on Monday afternoon, Oct. 29. “Salem Unit 2 has been offline since October 14 for a scheduled refueling outage. All Salem Unit 2 outage work was suspended as of 6 pm Sunday evening.”

Only “essential personnel” were required to report to the plants during the onset of Hurricane Sandy, Delmar said. There are no immediate plans to take Salem 1 or Hope Creek offline – unless the weather situation worsens.

The units would be taken offline if wind speed reaches greater than 74 miles-per-hour onsite for a period greater than 15 minutes. The units would also be taken offline is the river level reaches greater than 99.5 feet.

There was a high tide around 11:30 a.m. Oct. 29 when the river peaked at around at roughly 93 feet, Delmar said.

Operated by PSEG Nuclear, Salem is located along with Hope Creek nuclear plant on a 740 acre site in Salem County, N.J.

Meanwhile, in the neighboring state of New York, things are fine so far at Indian Point Unit 2 and 3, which are located in Buchanan, N.Y.

Absent 75 mile-per-hour winds, there are no current plans to take offline either of the Indian Point units located near New York City, said a spokesperson for Entergy (NYSE: ETR). Powering down a plant could be necessary if off site demand for power diminished as a result of localized power outages, said Entergy spokesperson James Steets.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.