Refueling, Turbine Repairs for Susquehanna Reactor

Unit 2 at Pennsylvania's Susquehanna nuclear plant shut down for refueling and maintenance Saturday, including repairs to turbines that have caused issues at the plant since its last refueling outage.

Susquehanna nuclear plant. Source: NRCCrews will replace about 40 percent of the reactor's fuel while conducting a wide range of upgrades and routine maintenance tasks. They will also replace several components within its steam turbine assemblies.

"The modifications will address the turbine blade issues that have affected both Susquehanna units," PPL Susquehanna Chief Nuclear Officer Timothy S. Rausch said in a release. "After the refueling outage, we will continue to closely monitor the turbines throughout the next two years to confirm the modified equipment is performing as expected."

Similar turbine work will take place at unit 1 later this spring. Workers discovered cracks in eight-year-old steam turbine blades at unit 2 during refueling in 2011, and at that time replacing them was expected to cost $20 million to $30 million. The utility made repairs to both units and implemented an inspection program that identified similar, though less extensive, cracking in unit 1 again last spring.

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