NRC to meet PPL on improvements at Pa. Susquehanna reactors

Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:48am EDT

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Oct 10 (Reuters) - U.S. nuclear regulators will meet with power company PPL Corp on Oct. 16 to discuss the company's progress on improving performance at the 2,450-megawatt (MW) Susquehanna nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Tuesday its staff wanted to talk about improvements in corrective actions and human performance at the plant.

The NRC said cited a number of procedural problems involving staff over the past 18 months.

The NRC pointed to a maintenance and testing procedure that lacked sufficient technical details and resulted in an unexpected plant shutdown during turbine testing.

Separately, PPL said last week it reduced power at both Susquehanna reactors and was preparing to shut Unit 1 later this month for turbine inspections.

The company said it was looking to confirm data provided by new technology that could lead to the finalization of a plan to resolve turbine blade cracking problems identified in 2011.

Pending the outcome of the 1,260-MW Unit 1 inspections, PPL said it will decide whether a similar inspection of the 1,190-MW Unit 2 turbine is warranted. One megawatt powers about 1,000 homes.

In 2011, PPL shut Unit 1 from March 31 to June 7 for planned refueling and to replace damaged turbine blades.

The company also shut Unit 2 from May 30 to June 15, but found no turbine blade cracks.

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