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Nuclear power plant will be shut down for turbine inspections

By: Power Engineering |

PPL Susquehanna, a generating affiliate of PPL Corp. (NYSE: PPL), on Oct. 5 said it has reduced electricity output on both generating units at the Susquehanna nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania and is preparing for a planned shutdown of the Unit 1 reactor later this month for additional turbine inspection. The company said it will look to confirm data provided by new instrumentation that could lead to finalization of a plan to resolve the issue of turbine blade cracking that was first identified in 2011.

PPL Corp. also on Oct. 5 said the estimated after-tax financial impact of the inspections, which includes reduced energy-sales margins and possible repair expenses, could be in the range of $15 million to $45 million.

Pending the outcome of the Unit 1 inspection, PPL Susquehanna said it will determine whether a similar inspection of the Unit 2 turbine is warranted.

During the upcoming Unit 1 outage, workers will inspect turbine blades for any indications of cracking similar to what had been discovered previously on the Unit 1 and 2 turbines.

PPL Susquehanna will begin to implement turbine modifications that are designed to resolve the turbine blade cracking issue during future scheduled refueling and maintenance outages starting in the spring of 2013.

The Susquehanna plant is owned jointly by PPL Susquehanna LLC and Allegheny Electric Cooperative Inc. and is operated by PPL Susquehanna LLC.