Wednesday, January 9, 2008

PSEG N.J. Salem 1 reactor up to 98 pct power

January 3, 2008

NEW YORK, Jan 3 (Reuters) - Public Service Enterprise Group Inc's (PEG.N: Quote, Profile, Research) 1,174-megawatt Unit 1 at the Salem nuclear power station in New Jersey ramped up to 98 percent power by early Thursday, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said in a report.

On Wednesday, the unit was operating at 62 percent power after exiting an outage.

The unit shut by Dec. 31 due to the loss of two reactor coolant pumps.

(See also this article)

The 3,403 MW Salem/Hope Creek station is located along the Delaware River in Salem ,about 40 miles south of Philadelphia. There are three reactors at the station, Salem 1, the 1,130 MW Salem 2 and the 1,061 MW Hope Creek, along with the 38 MW Salem 3 oil-fired turbine.

Salem 1 and 2 entered service in 1977 and 1981, and Hope Creek in 1986.

Salem 2 and Hope Creek continued to operate at full power.

One MW powers about 800 homes in New Jersey.

Exelon Nuclear, a unit of Exelon Corp (EXC.N: Quote, Profile, Research), has a contract to manage the station for PSEG.

However, since the merger of PSEG and Exelon failed in 2006, PSEG has been taking over more of the nuclear operations and plans to take back management of the reactors over the next couple of years.

PSEG owns all of Hope Creek and about 57 percent of Salem. Exelon owns the remaining 43 percent of Salem.

PSEG told the NRC it planned to file for a 20-year extension of the original 40-year operating licenses for Hope Creek and both Salem units in September 2009.

PSEG in August 2007 said it planned to spend $50 million between 2007 and 2011 to explore the possible construction of a new reactor at Hope Creek.

Exelon, of Chicago, owns and operates more than 38,000 MW of generating capacity, markets energy commodities, and transmits and distributes electricity (5.4 million) and natural gas (480,000) to customers in Illinois and Pennsylvania.

PSEG, of Newark, New Jersey, owns and operates more than 20,000 MW of generating capacity, markets energy commodities, and transmits and distributes electricity and natural gas to customers in North America and other parts of the world. (Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by John Picinich)

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