Water leak causes Unit 1 reactor shutdown at Susquehanna Power Plant

By Melanie Mizenko - [email protected] | June 7th, 2016 9:39 am - updated: 10:15 am.

SALEM TWP. — The Unit 1 reactor at the Talen Energy Susquehanna Power Plant was disconnected from the grid Monday morning.

According to a press release by Talen Energy, a water leak caused the shut down of Unit 1. The problem was discovered to be a leak seal on a reactor recirculation pump, Neil Sheehan, public affairs officer for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said.

Sheehan explained the water circulates through the pump to the reactor.

Todd L. Martin, manager of media relations for Talen Energy, said in an email that, even though water lost in the leak was “well below the acceptable level for operation,” the company wanted to take the reactor offline and make repairs before summer.

“We made the decision to take the unit offline,” Martin said. “On Sunday evening, we began the process of incrementally powering down.”

“There is no cause for concern, nor is there a risk to public health,” Martin said.

“Water is captured by the containment building, which houses the reactor,” Sheehan added.

Sheehan doesn’t foresee the reactor being down long but Martin said the plant has “no exact timeline” before it comes back online.

“These (reactor shutdowns) are not uncommon,” Sheehan said.

Unit 2 was off the grid for a weekend in May after an electrical short in a ventilation fan. Susquehanna Unit 2 continues to operate safely at full rated power.

With one reactor down, the grid loses 1,300 megawatts, Martin said.

The power plant was one of the assets acquired by Riverstone Holdings late Friday afternoon.

The cooling towers at Talen Energy’s Susquehanna Steam Electric Station - the nuclear power plant in Salem Township, near Berwick.
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/web1_nuclear_power_plant_WEB-1.jpgThe cooling towers at Talen Energy’s Susquehanna Steam Electric Station - the nuclear power plant in Salem Township, near Berwick. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader File Photo

By Melanie Mizenko

[email protected]

Reach Melanie Mizenko at 570-991-6116 or on Twitter @TL_MMizenko


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