PPL wraps up turbine work at both Susquehanna units

After completing turbine blade repairs, both reactors units at the Susquehanna nuclear station have been returned to service, PPL (NYSE: PPL) indicated June 14.

Operators reconnected Susquehanna Unit 1 to the grid June 14 after completing improvements that will address the turbine issues experienced at the plant over the past several years, PPL said in a statement.

Only nine days earlier Susquehanna 2 returned to service following a refueling and maintenance outage, which also included tackling turbine blade issues. Unit 1 was disconnected from the grid May 9 so workers could make modifications to its turbine assembly.

The company has been installing new turbine blades to improve operational performance. New turbine hoods are also being installed to improve air flow. The work should reduce blade vibration and address turbine blade issues that have affected the nuclear plant over the past two years, PPL officials have said.

In a presentation to financial analysts in February, the company said that it has identified the causes of Susquehanna turbine blade cracking. PPL said the work should restore operating performance to historic levels.

“We will continue to monitor the performance of the turbines on both units over the next few years to confirm the modifications are working as designed,” Senior Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer Timothy Rausch said June 14.

The two boiling water reactors (BWRs) are located in Luzerne County, Pa. Together they have a nameplate generating capacity of more than 2,500 MW.

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

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.