Arizona-based energy and utility holding company PPL Corporation has announced that unit 1 at its Susquehanna nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania has resumed operation after the planned maintenance outage to improve the operation of the rods used to control the nuclear reaction.

Control rods, which can be inserted between the fuel bundles, are used to speed up, slow down or stop the nuclear reaction. During the outage, plant workers completed other maintenance items to enhance the long-term reliability of Susquehanna unit 1.

Neil Gannon, vice president of nuclear operations for PPL Susquehanna, said: Employees safely completed the work that will reduce the friction between the control rods and fuel assemblies and will improve the operation of plant equipment. The planned outage was part of a comprehensive effort by PPL to address the friction issue, which is not unique to the Susquehanna plant. Other nuclear power plants have experienced the problem as well.