NRC to meet PPL on improvements at Pa. Susquehanna reactors

Oct 10 (Reuters) - U.S. nuclear regulators will meet withpower company PPL Corp on Oct. 16 to discuss thecompany's progress on improving performance at the2,450-megawatt (MW) Susquehanna nuclear power plant inPennsylvania.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Tuesday itsstaff wanted to talk about improvements in corrective actionsand human performance at the plant.

The NRC said cited a number of procedural problems involvingstaff over the past 18 months.

The NRC pointed to a maintenance and testing procedure thatlacked sufficient technical details and resulted in anunexpected plant shutdown during turbine testing.

Separately, PPL said last week it reduced power at bothSusquehanna reactors and was preparing to shut Unit 1 later thismonth for turbine inspections.

The company said it was looking to confirm data provided bynew technology that could lead to the finalization of a plan toresolve turbine blade cracking problems identified in 2011.

Pending the outcome of the 1,260-MW Unit 1 inspections, PPLsaid it will decide whether a similar inspection of the 1,190-MWUnit 2 turbine is warranted. One megawatt powers about 1,000homes.

In 2011, PPL shut Unit 1 from March 31 to June 7 for plannedrefueling and to replace damaged turbine blades.

The company also shut Unit 2 from May 30 to June 15, butfound no turbine blade cracks.

(Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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