Nuclear power plant unit sets record for continuous operation

BERWICK, PENNSYLVANIA - PPL has set another generating record at its Susquehanna nuclear power plant near Berwick, Pa., continuing a quarter-century tradition of providing the region with reliable and safe electricity.

The Unit 2 reactor at the Susquehanna plant has set a plant record by generating electricity for 678 consecutive days since its last refueling and maintenance outage in 2007.

“We are fortunate to have dedicated people with a sharp focus on nuclear safety and operating excellence. They enable the Susquehanna plant to achieve a continuous run like this,” said Neil Gannon, PPL’s vice president of Nuclear Operations. “The record is really a testament to their abilities and their knowledge of this plant.”

The continuous operation of Unit 2 helped the Susquehanna plant set a record by generating 19,046,000 megawatt-hours last year.

The electricity generated by Susquehanna in 2008 is enough to power about 2 million homes.

The Susquehanna plant has set several generation records in the last decade and has achieved increased levels of operating efficiency, spurred by the incentives provided by a competitive electricity market.

PPL is making major investments in the future of the Susquehanna plant, Gannon said. The company is in the midst of a program to increase the plant’s electricity output by 200 megawatts, and has asked the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to approve a 20-year extension of the operating licenses for both units.

“The Susquehanna plant is a valuable asset for PPL, for the community, and for the many homes and businesses that rely on the power we generate,” Gannon said. “After 25 years of operation, the plant is running better than ever and looking toward the future as a major source of electricity that does not emit carbon dioxide.”

Both units continue to operate at full power.

The success of the Susquehanna plant is a reason why PPL is considering plans to build another nuclear generating unit nearby. Last fall, PPL applied to the NRC for a combined operating license for the new plant, which would be called Bell Bend and use an advanced reactor design with even more safety features than the Susquehanna plant. NRC review of that license application will take three to four years.

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.


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