May 13 (Reuters) - Public Service Enterprise Group Inc said on Tuesday it will extend the ongoing refuelling outage at its 1,160-megawatt Unit 2 at the Salem nuclear power plant in New Jersey.
The company will use the extra time to inspect all four of the plant's reactor coolant pumps and, if necessary, make repairs.
"During the ongoing refuelling outage for Salem Unit 2, a bolting issue was discovered with one of the four reactor coolant pumps that pump water through the reactor coolant system," company spokesman Joseph Delmar told Reuters in an email.
He said there was no potential for damage to the reactor core or any threat to public health and safety.
The company did not say how long it would extend the outage.
When the unit shut around April 14 for refuelling, power traders guessed it would return about a month later in mid May.
Now they figure the additional inspection could add a couple weeks onto the length of the outage because the company likely will have to remove the pump motors to perform the inspections.
"There are huge shield plugs which need to be removed from the upper level of the containment floor and then they would need to use a large crane to remove the motors," one trader with experience at nuclear reactors said.
Meanwhile, Salem 1 was operating at full capacity.
---------------------------------------------------------- PLANT BACKGROUND/TIMELINE STATE: New Jersey COUNTY: Salem TOWN: Salem along the Delaware River about 40 miles
(60 km) south of Philadelphia OPERATOR: PSEG's PSEG Nuclear OWNER(S): - Salem 1 & 2 - PSEG (57.41 pct)
- Exelon (42.59 pct)
- Hope Creek - PSEG (100 pct) CAPACITY: 3,531 MW UNIT(S): - Hope Creek - 1,161-MW General Electric boiling
- Salem 1 - 1,174-MW Combustion Engineering
pressurized water reactor
- Salem 2 - 1,158-MW Combustion Engineering
pressurized water reactor
- 38 MW Salem 3 - gas turbine FUEL: Nuclear; Kerosene (Unit 3) DISPATCH: Baseload COST: Salem 1 and 2 - $1.3 billion
Hope Creek - $4.3 billion. Hope Creek was
originally designed for two reactors but as
costs rose the utility and state decided not to
pursue the second unit. The state also believed
there was not enough demand to warrant the
second unit TIMELINE: 1968 - Salem construction started 1971 - Salem 3 gas turbine enters service 1974 - Hope Creek construction started.
1977 - Salem 1 enters commercial service 1981 - Salem 2 enters commercial service 1986 - Hope Creek enters commercial service 2007 - PSEG says to spend about $50 million from
2007-2011 to explore a possible new reactor at
Hope Creek 2009 - PSEG files with NRC to renew the original
40-year operating licenses at Salem and Hope
Creek for an additional 20 years 2010 - PSEG files with NRC for an Early Site Permit
(ESP) for a new reactor at Hope Creek 2011 - NRC renews licenses of Salem 1 and 2 and Hope
Creek for additional 20 years 2014 - NRC expects to decide on Early Site Permit 2026 - Hope Creek license to expire 2036 - Salem 1 license to expire 2040 - Salem 2 license to expire 2046 - Hope Creek license to expire (Reporting by Koustav Samanta in Bangalore and Scott DiSavino in New York; editing by Andrew Hay)