Operators at the Susquehanna nuclear power plant in Luzerne County near Berwick, Pa., briefly declared an “unusual event” Sunday, Sept. 15, as a result of water leaking inside a room in the plant's Unit 2 reactor building. The unit was shut down at the time of the declaration.
An unusual event is the lowest of the four emergency classifications established by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for nuclear power plants. The event had no effect on public safety and required no public action.
The plant declared the unusual event at 11:38 a.m. after operators received indications of the water leak. They responded quickly to stop the leak, which was contained in one room. The plant is designed to contain water leaks to the room where they occur.
The unusual event declaration was ended at 3:52 p.m.
Unit 2 was shut down early Saturday, Sept. 14, for an inspection of the unit's turbine blades. It remains safely shut down.
"We have traced the cause of the water leak to a valve on one of the plant's multiple cooling systems. Other cooling systems were operational throughout the event. In keeping with our philosophy of operating the plant safely and conservatively, we will conduct a full investigation of this incident and make any necessary changes to be sure it does not recur," said Timothy S. Rausch, senior vice president and Chief Nuclear Officer for PPL Susquehanna.
In accordance with plant procedures, local and state emergency management agencies were notified of the situation.
Unit 1 at the plant continues to run safely at full power.
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. More information is available at www.pplsusquehanna.com.