UPDATE 1-PPL forced to shut Susquehanna Unit 2 due to leak

Tue Nov 20, 2012 9:11am EST

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Nov 20 (Reuters) - PPL Corp began shutting
1,190-megawatt Unit 2 at its Susquehanna nuclear power plant in
Pennsylvania late Monday, shortly after returning it to service,
due to a hydraulic oil leak.
    The oil leak was in a system that controls the flow of steam
into the turbine, the company said in a statement.
    "Shutting down the reactor is the safest course of action
until we can determine the reason for the oil leak and make the
necessary repair," said Timothy Rausch, PPL Susquehanna senior
vice president and chief nuclear officer.
    "The unit was starting up last night and reached power of
about 15 percent when an alarm was received involving the
electro-hydraulic control system," U.S. Nuclear Regulatory
Commission (NRC) spokesman Neil Sheehan told Reuters.
    That system, among other things, controls the speed and load
on the turbine-generator and provides protection for the main
turbine, Sheehan said.
    He did not, however, say when the unit would return to
service.
    The NRC's resident inspectors assigned to the unit will
follow up on activities and the company's root cause evaluation
of why the problem occurred, Sheehan added.
    The company had restarted the unit early Monday after a
malfunction at the computer system that controls the reactor's
water level had forced operators to shut it on Nov. 9.
 
    Unit 1 was operating at full power, the company said.
---------------------------------------------------------- 
PLANT BACKGROUND/TIMELINE 
STATE:      Pennsylvania          
COUNTY:     Luzerne          
TOWN:       Salem Township          
OPERATOR:   PPL Susquehanna LLC          
OWNER(S):   PPL Corp (90 pct)          
            Allegheny Electric Coop Inc (10 pct)          
CAPACITY:   2,450 MW 
UNIT(S):    1 - 1,260-MW General Electric boiling water         
            reactor          
            2 - 1,190-MW General Electric boiling water         
            reactor         
FUEL:       Nuclear         
DISPATCH:   Baseload      
COST:       $4.1 billion         
      
TIMELINE:          
1983       - Unit 1 enters commercial service          
1985       - Unit 2 enters commercial service          
2008       - PPL files with NRC to build one of Areva SA's      
             1,600 MW Evolutionary Power Reactors    
 
             (EPR) at the site to be called Bell Bend. PPL      
             estimated the new reactor could cost $10 billion   
  
2009       - NRC renews 40-year licenses for Units 1 and 2 for  
  
             additional 20 years          
2009-11    - PPL to uprate plant output by about 110 MW      
2013       - NRC expected to decide on construction and 
             operating license for Bell Bend, but the schedule 
             is being revised 
2042       - Unit 1 extended license to expire          
2044       - Unit 2 extended license to expire
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