Nuke Blades Crack Again

Thursday, April 26, 2012 @ 04:04 PM gHale

A follow-up inspection of the Unit 1 main turbine at PPL Corp.’s Susquehanna nuclear power plant in northeastern Pennsylvania found indications of cracks in blades that are similar to, but less extensive than, damage discovered and repaired in 2011.

PPL said it will replace one row of blades on the Unit 1 turbine during the current refueling and maintenance outage, and has decided as a precaution to shut down the Unit 2 reactor and inspect its main turbine after the Unit 1 outage is over with.

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The company noted the Unit 2 outage will occur after Unit 1 resumes generating electricity, he said. The turbine blade replacement on Unit 1 will have a minimal effect on the duration of the current outage, which began March 31 and will continue into mid-May.

As part of the ongoing Unit 1 outage and the upcoming Unit 2 outage, PPL Susquehanna will install additional equipment that will, along with the analysis already conducted, validate the suspected causes currently under engineering review, the company said.