PPL, an owner of nearly 12,000MW of generating capacity in the US, has said that Unit 1 reactor at its Susquehanna nuclear plant near Berwick, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, was safely shut down during equipment testing.

The Susquehanna plant is located about seven miles north of Berwick and is owned jointly by PPL Susquehanna and Allegheny Electric Cooperative and is operated by PPL Susquehanna.

The company said that all equipment responded to the shutdown as designed and that there was no equipment damage.

Jeff Helsel, plant manager at PPL Susquehanna, said: “During the refueling and maintenance outage that concluded last month, we made several equipment upgrades, including installing a new integrated digital control system for plant equipment and replacing turbines that power pumps providing water to the reactor vessel.

“While plant personnel were performing a required test on the control system and the pumps, operators shut down the unit because established test limits were met.”

Mr Helsel added, “We have been performing a series of tests with the new control system to ensure the safety and reliability of the unit. We will complete an evaluation of the shutdown and have Unit 1 generating electricity again.”