October 27, 2008
‘Alert’ Declared at PPL’s Susquehanna Nuclear Power Plant
BERWICK, Pa., Oct. 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- An alert was declared at 12:06 p.m. Monday (10/27) at the Susquehanna nuclear plant in Luzerne County near Berwick, Pa., when workers detected a low oxygen level in a pump room related to the Unit 2 reactor.
"Plant personnel were working on a pipe to improve a system that could be used to circulate water in the reactor," said Joe Scopelliti, PPL's Susquehanna public information manager. "The work involved using liquid nitrogen to freeze the water in the pipe so that the pipe could be cut."
When liquid nitrogen is being used in an enclosed space, oxygen levels are constantly monitored. When low oxygen levels were detected, workers immediately left the area. Scopelliti said the plant's operating rules call for an "alert" to be declared in such a situation.
There were no injuries, no effect on plant operations and no effect on the public. Both generating units continue to operate normally, Scopelliti said.
The pump room is called the Residual Heat Removal Room, and it provides cooling for various plant functions, including the ability to serve as an emergency core cooling system.
An alert is the second lowest of the four emergency classifications established by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for nuclear power plants. There is no need for any action on the part of area residents based on current plant conditions.
PPL has notified Luzerne and Columbia county emergency management agencies, as well as the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, which are coordinating support services as needed. The company also has notified the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
PPL has activated its Joint Information Center at the East Mountain Business Center just off Route 115, south of Wilkes-Barre, Pa. The phone number is 866-832-4474.
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.
PPL Susquehanna is one of PPL Corporation's generating facilities. Headquartered in Allentown, Pa., PPL Corporation controls more than 11,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the United States, sells energy in key U.S. markets and delivers electricity to about 4 million customers in Pennsylvania and the United Kingdom. More information is available at http://www.pplweb.com/.
CONTACT: Joe Scopelliti of PPL Corporation, +1-866-832-4474,Fax +1-610-774-5281
Web site: http://www.pplweb.com/