PSEG temporarily without more than 2,200 MW of nuclear generation

Public Service Enterprise Group (NYSE:PEG) (PSEG) now has both of its pressurized water reactors (PWRs) at the Salem nuclear station in New Jersey offline following an unplanned outage at Unit 2 on June 28.

Salem Units 2 and 1 were both listed at zero generation early June 29, according to Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) data. Salem Unit 1 has been offline since April 14 for a refueling outage, which was extended to address concerns with “baffle bolts,” said a PSEG spokesperson.

The outages mean that PSEG now has more than 2,200 MW of nuclear generating capacity offline during a New Jersey summer.

As for Salem Unit 2, it suffered an unplanned automatic reactor trip and subsequent automatic auxiliary feedwater system actuation. “The trip was initiated due to a Main Turbine Trip above P-9 (49% power). The Main Turbine trip was caused by a Main Generator Protection signal,” according to an NRC event report.

“No safety related equipment or major secondary equipment was tagged for maintenance prior to this event. No personnel were injured during this event,” at Unit 2, according to the event report. “Unit 1 is defueled and was not affected by this event,” according to the NRC report.

Some bolts at Unit 1 have degraded

PSEG spokesperson Joseph Delmar said PSEG inspections during the Unit 1 refueling outage turned up some issues that the company wanted to address.

“Based on the results of a pre-planned contingency inspection, we extended its refueling outage to make additional repairs,” Delmar said in an email to GenerationHub.

“As a merchant generator, PSEG Nuclear does not discuss outage durations nor will we discuss the length of this outage’s extension,” Delmar noted.

“However, the plant will not return to service until repairs have been completed,” Delmar said.

A visual inspection of the reactor core is conducted each refueling outage. Based on recent operating experience at the Entergy (NYSE:ETR) Indian Point station in New York this spring, there was increased significance for this specific inspection, the spokesperson said.

“During this outage’s pre-emptive visual inspection of the core, we identified degradation issues with a series of baffle bolts located on a metal insert liner inside the Salem Unit 1 reactor vessel. The visual inspection identified that 18 of the metal insert liner’s 832 baffle bolts (2.1%) exhibited degradation,” Delmar said.

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