PPL Susquehanna nuclear plant plans shutdown for turbine inspection
Pending the outcome of the Unit 1 inspection, PPL Susquehanna will determine whether a similar inspection of the Unit 2 turbine is warranted
Berwick, Pa., Oct. 5, 2012 — PPL's Susquehanna nuclear power plant has reduced electricity output on both of its generating units and is preparing for a planned shutdown of the Unit 1 reactor later in October 2012 for additional turbine inspection, as the company looks 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.
Pending the outcome of the Unit 1 inspection, PPL Susquehanna 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.
One short-term action PPL Susquehanna has taken was to lower the operating power level of both units at least until inspection of the Unit 1 turbine is complete. This action reduces the potential for cracking to occur or worsen and maintains the plant's operating safety margin.
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.
PPL Corp. announced October 5 that 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. The company is maintaining its 2012 forecast of $2.15 to $2.45 per share in earnings from ongoing operations.
The Susquehanna plant, located in Luzerne County about seven miles north of Berwick, is owned jointly by PPL Susquehanna LLC and Allegheny Electric Cooperative Inc. and is operated by PPL Susquehanna LLC.
PPL Susquehanna LLC is one of PPL Corp.'s generating affiliates. Headquartered in Allentown, Pa., PPL Corp. owns or controls through its subsidiaries about 19,000 MW of generating capacity in the U.S., sells energy in key U.S. markets, and delivers electricity and natural gas to about 10 million customers in the U.S. and U.K.