Talen takes Unit 1 at Susquehanna nuclear plant down for refueling outage

Talen Energy (NYSE:TLN) disconnected Unit 1 of the Susquehanna nuclear plant in Pennsylvania from the grid late Friday, March 11 into early Saturday, March 12,  to begin a scheduled refueling and maintenance outage, the company said.

While the reactor is shut down, Susquehanna’s nuclear workers will replace more than a third of the unit’s fuel.

“Our continued investment in Susquehanna ensures plant safety, reliability and value to our customers and investors in Talen Energy,” said Jon Franke, site vice president.

During the shutdown, workers will upgrade essential equipment, inspect the main generator and perform thousands of necessary maintenance activities to build on a track record that enabled Susquehanna to generate more than 20 million megawatt-hours, a single-year plant record, in 2015, Franke said.

In order to complete the work in Susquehanna’s outage plan, the company has hired more than 1,500 supplemental employees for the outage.

Talen Energy’s Susquehanna nuclear schedules refueling and maintenance outages at this time of year, when seasonal temperatures typically drive lower regional power demand and lower electricity prices. Each of the two units at the Susquehanna plant is taken out of service for refueling and maintenance every 24 months.

Talen reported in November that it believes it has finally solved the troublesome turbine blade issues at the nuclear plant it acquired as part of its spinoff from PPL (NYSE:PPL).

Unit 2 continues to run at full power.

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.

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

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.