Susquehanna nuclear plant Unit 1 refueling outage underway

Susquehanna nuclear plant | Courtesy of the NRC

Susquehanna nuclear plant, near Berwick, Pennsylvania, recently began a scheduled refueling outage on its Unit 1 reactor, plant operator Talen Energy said.

The company said the outage has led to the hiring of approximately 1,500 contractors to work with full-time staff at the plant. During the outage, several maintenance tasks will be performed, along with the replacement of fuel assemblies.

"Our continued investment in Susquehanna ensures plant safety, reliability, and value to our customers and investors in Talen Energy," Site Vice President Jon Franke said. "We have developed the right plan to upgrade essential equipment, inspect our main generator and perform thousands of necessary maintenance activities to build on our track record of operational excellence that enabled Susquehanna to generate more than 20 million megawatt-hours, a single-year plant record, in 2015."

During the outage, the Unit 2 reactor will remain in full operation. Talen said it performs outages at this time of year because energy demand in the region typically is not as high, with few weather extremes driving up demand for heat or air conditioning. Each unit at the plant undergoes a refueling and maintenance outage every two years. More than one third of the reactor's fuel assemblies will be replaced during this outage, Talen said.