LIMERICK PA – A previously scheduled spring outage that allows crews to refuel and perform maintenance on Exelon Nuclear’s Limerick Generating Station Unit 1 reactor got an early start this week, in part because the system was already offline due to an unexpected shutdown March 4 (2014; Tuesday).
Operators took the reactor offline to repair what Exelon said was a “turbine control system on the non-nuclear side of the plant.” With the machinery down, “it made sense to begin refueling activities now,” said Site Vice President Tom Dougherty. “This decision will allow us to complete all offline work and return the unit to service sooner.”
Unit 1 will remain out of service as technicians install new turbine blades, three transformers and nearly one-third of the reactor’s fuel.
Limerick has two reactors, each of which is refueled once every two years. Limerick Unit 2 remains in operation at full power, Exelon said.
It noted that more than 1,500 experienced supplemental workers have been brought into Pottstown from other areas “to support the outage.” The influx provides “temporary boost to the local economy,” the company claimed, as “most local hotels, restaurants, and shops in the area see an increase in customers during Limerick refueling outages.