Salem Nuclear Power Plant

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Salem Nuclear Power Plant
Hope Creek-Salem Nuclear.jpg
The entire PSEG nuclear complex as seen from Augustine Beach, Delaware
Salem Nuclear Power Plant is located in New Jersey
Salem Nuclear Power Plant
Location of Salem Nuclear Power Plant
Country United States
Location Lower Alloways Creek
Coordinates 39°27′46″N 75°32′8″W / 39.46278°N 75.53556°W / 39.46278; -75.53556Coordinates: 39°27′46″N 75°32′8″W / 39.46278°N 75.53556°W / 39.46278; -75.53556
Status Operational
Commission date Unit 1: June 30, 1977
Unit 2: October 31, 1981
Owner(s) Exelon (43%)
PSE&G (57%)
Nuclear power station
Reactor type PWR
Reactor supplier Westinghouse
Power generation
Nameplate capacity Unit 1: 1,174 MW
Unit 2: 1,130 MW
Annual generation Unit 1: 9,158 GWh
Unit 2: 9,669 GWh
Website
Salem – PSE&G

The Salem Nuclear Power Plant is a two unit pressurized water reactor nuclear power station located in Lower Alloways Creek Township, New Jersey, in the United States. It is owned by PSEG Nuclear LLC and Exelon Generation LLC.

Salem Nuclear Power Plant includes two of the four licensed nuclear power reactors in New Jersey. The others are the one unit at Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station, and the one unit at Hope Creek Nuclear Generating Station.[1] As of January 1, 2005, New Jersey ranked 10th among the 31 states with nuclear capacity for total MWe generated. In 2003, nuclear electricity generated over one half of the electricity in the State.[2]

Location[edit]

Salem shares Artificial Island in the Delaware Bay with the Hope Creek Nuclear Generating Station.[3]

Reactors[edit]

The reactors, both PWRs, were built by Westinghouse, and began commercial operation in 1977 (Unit 1) and 1981 (Unit 2). The two-unit plant has a capacity of 2,275 MWe. Unit 1 is licensed to operate until August 13, 2036 and Unit 2 is licensed to operate until April 18, 2040. In 2009, PSEG applied for 20-year license renewals for both units, which were approved by the NRC in 2011.[4][5]

Surrounding population[edit]

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission defines two emergency planning zones around nuclear power plants: a plume exposure pathway zone with a radius of 10 miles (16 km), concerned primarily with exposure to, and inhalation of, airborne radioactive contamination, and an ingestion pathway zone of about 50 miles (80 km), concerned primarily with ingestion of food and liquid contaminated by radioactivity.[6]

The 2010 U.S. population within 10 miles (16 km) of Salem was 52,091, an increase of 54.1 percent in a decade, according to an analysis of U.S. Census data for msnbc.com. The 2010 U.S. population within 50 miles (80 km) was 5,482,329, an increase of 7.6 percent since 2000. Cities within 50 miles include Philadelphia (43 miles to city center).[7]

Safety issues[edit]

The New York Times has reported that, in the 1990s, the Salem reactors were shut down for two years because of maintenance problems.[8] Consultants found several difficulties, including a leaky generator, unreliable controls on a reactor, and workers who feared that reporting problems would lead to retaliation. In 2004, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission took on additional oversight of the Salem plants and increased the monitoring of them.[8]

An extensive investigation by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the subsequent review by hired consultants have found many minor problems, such as lack of routine maintenance and low morale among personnel, but declared the plant safe.[9]

On Thursday, August 22, 2013, the Salem Nuclear plant was shut down after a leak of slightly radioactive water. The spill was confined to the plant's containment building, and regulators have said there is no risk to the public.[10] The plant re-opened on August 24, after having been closed for less than 48 hours.[11]

In May 2014 a scheduled refueling outage of Salem 2 was extended after broken bolts from a cooling pump were found in the reactor vessel. Westinghouse are inspecting the pumps.[12]

Seismic risk[edit]

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's estimate of the risk each year of an earthquake intense enough to cause core damage to the reactor at Salem was 1 in 90,909, according to an NRC study published in August 2010.[13][14]

Water use[edit]

Salem Nuclear Power Plant as photographed from Delaware River.

Both reactors use Delaware Bay as a source of cooling water. Salem units 1 and 2 have a water-intake building with a rotating screen to collect debris that is later washed off. Sometimes thick layers of grass clog the intakes and the reactors run at reduced power for weeks as a result.[15][16] All of the waste heat produced in the steam cycle (about 2 gigawatts) is dumped into the bay. The resultant increase in water temperature is regulated to less than 1°C in summer months, and to 2°C the rest of the year. The large closed-cycle cooling tower on site is part of the neighboring Hope Creek plant and is not used by the Salem reactors.[17]

Notable employees[edit]

Actor Bruce Willis worked at Salem Nuclear Power Plant as a security guard before pursuing acting.[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "NRC - Licensed Facilities by Region or State - New Jersey". US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Retrieved 2011-03-13. 
  2. ^ "New Jersey Nuclear Industry". United States Department of Energy. Retrieved 2008-08-23. "The leading source of electricity in 2004 in the State was nuclear power. In 2004, National nuclear generation reached record levels. In New Jersey, the nuclear industry's share of electric output dropped by 4 percent as coal and gas modestly increased their share." 
  3. ^ Special to Today's Sunbeam/PSEG Nuclear. "NRC delays review of PSEG Nuclear permit application needed for any new reactor in Salem County". NJ.com. Retrieved 2012-02-08. 
  4. ^ "PSEG seeks licence renewals for two plants". World Nuclear News. August 19, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-18. 
  5. ^ Gallo, Bill Jr. (June 30, 2011). "Nuclear Regulatory Commission grants 20-year operating license extensions for Salem 1 and 2 reactors in Salem County". Today's Sunbeam. Retrieved 30 June 2011. 
  6. ^ "NRC: Backgrounder on Emergency Preparedness at Nuclear Power Plants". Nrc.gov. Retrieved 2012-02-08. 
  7. ^ Bill Dedman, Nuclear neighbors: Population rises near US reactors, msnbc.com, April 14, 2011 http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42555888/ns/us_news-life/ Accessed May 1, 2011.
  8. ^ a b Creating the Nation's Largest Utility Company, New York Times, January 29, 2006.
  9. ^ Sullivan, John (October 11, 2004). "Problems cited at nuclear plant in South Jersey". New York Times. 
  10. ^ http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=news/local&id=9216530 ABC 6 Action News, August 23, 2013
  11. ^ http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Leak-Leads-to-Shut-Down-of-Nuclear-Plant-220808101.html NBC news, August 24, 2013
  12. ^ Bill Gallo (19 May 2014). "Broken bolt pieces found in pump, reactor vessel delay Salem 2 nuclear plant restart". South Jersey Times. Retrieved 21 May 2014. 
  13. ^ Bill Dedman, "What are the odds? US nuke plants ranked by quake risk," msnbc.com, March 17, 2011 http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42103936/ Accessed April 19, 2011.
  14. ^ http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/msnbc/Sections/NEWS/quake%20nrc%20risk%20estimates.pdf
  15. ^ Wald, Matthew L. (May 1, 1994). "U.S. team finds errors at Salem Nuclear Plant". New York Times. Archives. 
  16. ^ Jeff Montgomery (22 April 2011). "Delaware energy: Grasses force Salem plant shutdown". News Journal (Wilmington, Delaware: Gannett). DelawareOnline. Retrieved 23 April 2011. 
  17. ^ FR Doc E7-20761
  18. ^ Comment on The Daily Show, June 26, 2007.

External links[edit]