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, has returned to service.

Operators at the plant had shut down the Unit 1 reactor on May 14 during equipment testing.

Jeff Helsel, plant manager of PPL Susquehanna, said: “At the time of the shutdown, we were conducting required tests on a new integrated digital control system for plant equipment and on pumps that provide water to the reactor vessel.

“Operators shut down the unit when the established test limits were reached. The tests are conservatively designed to ensure that the plant operates safely. While the unit was shut down, we conducted an evaluation of the testing and made adjustments to the control system. With the unit again generating electricity, we will continue the testing.”

The new control system and new turbines to power the pumps were installed during the refueling and maintenance outage that concluded last month.

During that outage, a number of equipment maintenance tasks and upgrades were done to improve plant safety, reliability and performance in addition to replacing about 40 % of the uranium fuel.