Talen Energy elaborates on turbine blade improvements at Susquehanna

In a 10-Q quarterly report filed Nov. 9 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Talen Energy (NYSE:TLN) elaborated on the work it has done on turbine blades at the Susquehanna nuclear plant in Pennsylvania.

As the company did in its Nov. 5 quarterly earnings call, Talen said that it believes it has resolved the troublesome blade issues at the nuclear plant it acquired as part of its spinoff from PPL (NYSE:PPL).

“Susquehanna Nuclear continues to make modifications to address the causes of turbine blade cracking first identified in 2011 at the Susquehanna nuclear plant,” the company said in the filing.

 Unit 1 completed its planned refueling and turbine inspection outage in June 2014 and installed newly designed shorter last stage blades on one of the low pressure turbines. “This change allowed Unit 1 to run with reduced blade vibration and no identified cracking during 2014. In the first, second and third quarters of 2014, Unit 2 was shut down for blade inspection and replacement, as well as additional maintenance,” Talen reported to the SEC.

“The financial impact of the Unit 2 outages was not material.,” Talen said. Based on the positive experience on Unit 1, the same short blade modifications were installed on two of the three turbines on Unit 2 during the spring 2015 scheduled refueling outage.

“All remaining turbine blade modifications are scheduled to be performed during planned refueling and maintenance outages. Inspections will be performed over the next several maintenance cycles to validate the performance of the modifications and ensure that the problem has been corrected,” Talen said in the 10-Q report.

“Susquehanna Nuclear does not expect additional unscheduled turbine maintenance outages as the vendor has finalized the root cause assessment and believes the short blade modifications will resolve the issue,” the company goes on to say.

Susquehanna Units 1 and 2 are both boiling water reactors (BWRs) commissioned in the1980s that are both listed with roughly 1,200 MW of operating capacity.

Talen Energy was formed when the competitive power generation business of PPL was spun off and combined with the competitive generation business owned by private equity firm Riverstone Holdings LLC.

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.