Talen Energy to lay off 53 workers at nuclear power plant in Salem Township

July 21st, 2016 4:07 pm - updated: 10:16 am.

SALEM TWP. — Talen Energy will be eliminating 53 positions at the Susquehanna Power Plant, according to company officials. Todd L. Martin, manager of media relations for Talen Energy, confirmed the layoffs Friday, saying the company sent a “staffing plan” letter to the leadership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1600, in Allentown, on Thursday. The company is laying off more than 131 “excess” employees at three plants — Susquehanna in Salem Township, Montour Power Plant in Washingtonville and Brunner Island in York County — and an office in Allentown. The parent company the Salem Township nuclear power plant was acquired by Riverstone Holdings LLC in early June. “It’s a step in the restructuring,” Martin said, noting competitiveness in the energy field. The staffing at Susquehanna was higher than it’s been in the history of the company and “highest” in the industry, he said, adding that the layoffs are “not unique” to Susquehanna as the industry is doing more assessments of staff. The layoffs at Susquehanna are to keep the “competitive pressures” out of the workplace, Martin said. “We’re taking action now,” Martin said. According to the letter, the union has 10 working days — until Aug. 2 — to identify the displaced employees based on seniority. Martin said it’s a “significant process” to work with the union because of voluntary retirements and “bumping” of positions. In addition to the 53 local layoffs, the letter states there will be 29 layoffs in the Montour Power Plant, 42 at Brunner Island and seven in the Allentown office. Calls to the IBEW were not returned Thursday afternoon. The layoffs are the first restructuring Talen has done at the plant since acquiring it in June 2015. PPL Corporation, the former owner of the power plant, spun off their generating assets last year, forming Talen Energy. Martin had no information regarding any prior PPL layoffs or restructuring. The current round of layoffs is expected to take the rest of the year to complete, he said. Recently, the power plant has been in the news for the shutdown of both its reactors. A water leak in early June shut down Unit 1 for three weeks, and then in mid-May, Unit 2 was manually shut down for a weekend after officials found a fault in the electrical distribution center. Unit 1 of the plant was commissioned in 1982 and Unit 2 was brought online in 1984. In 2009, according to World Nuclear News, an extension was granted a 20-year operating license.

The Susquehanna Steam Electric Station in Berwick on Thursday, July 21. 7/21/2016 Sean McKeag | Times Leader
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/web1_sean.jpgThe Susquehanna Steam Electric Station in Berwick on Thursday, July 21. 7/21/2016 Sean McKeag | Times Leader
53 workers will lose their jobs in Salem Twp.
By Melanie Mizenko [email protected]  
Reach Melanie Mizenko at 570-991-6116 or on Twitter @TL_MMizenko