NJ Nuke Undergoes Refueling Stop

Tuesday, October 27, 2015 @ 07:10 PM gHale

Salem 2 nuclear reactor shut down for a scheduled refueling and maintenance outage, a spokesman for the plant’s operator said.

Operators took the Lower Alloways Creek Township, NJ, plant off-line at 8 p.m. Thursday, said Joe Delmar of PSEG Nuclear.

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This is the 21st refueling outage at the plant at PSEG Nuclear’s Artificial Island generating complex along the Delaware River in Lower Alloways Creek Township since it first went into service May 1981.

During the outage, Delmar said, PSEG Nuclear employees along with supplemental contractors will perform nearly 18,000 activities.

Delmar could not predict how long Salem 2 will remain down. Nuclear plants generally shut down every 18 months for refueling and maintenance . Outages, on average, last for about a month.

One-third of the fuel assemblies in the reactor core will end up replaced with new ones, Delmar said.

Major work includes replacing two feedwater heaters, three main power transformers, moisture separator reheater shell relief valves and several controllers.

Upgrades to the main generator digital voltage regulator, main turbine lube oil service water control valve and the service water bay supports are on the schedule.

Various valves, relays, actuators and seals will also undergo inspections.

Salem 2 has been running continuously since it came back up from a shutdown in early August caused by an electrical circuit failure on one of the four reactor coolant pumps.

The reactor is one of three at the Island. The plants — Salem 2 and its neighbors, Salem 1 and Hope Creek — produce enough electricity to power 3 million homes.

Salem 1 and Hope Creek were operating at full power Friday morning., Delmar said.

Together, the three plants comprise the second-largest nuclear generating complex in the United States.