15 Apr, 2019, 07:30 ET
LOWER ALLOWAYS CREEK, N.J., April 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 1,000 contractors and craftspeople have arrived in Salem County to begin work on PSEG Nuclear's Salem Unit 1 reactor, which began a regularly scheduled refueling outage on Friday.
These contractors, working alongside 1,600 PSEG Nuclear employees, will perform approximately 14,000 refueling, maintenance and other activities during the period the Salem 1 reactor is offline.
"PSEG Nuclear's employees and contractors are committed to the safe, reliable and efficient operation of New Jersey's nuclear plants – which provide about 40 percent of the state's electricity," said Pete Sena, PSEG Nuclear president and chief nuclear officer. "We're proud of the work they do to ensure an around-the-clock supply of clean, affordable energy for all of our customers."
PSEG operators safely took Salem generating station unit 1 offline at 10 p.m. Friday to begin the station's 26th refueling outage.
Salem 1 is one of three nuclear units operated by PSEG in Salem County, New Jersey. The plants produce 40 percent of New Jersey's electricity – enough to power 3.8 million homes – and 90 percent of the state's carbon-free energy. Economic studies have shown that replacing the output of the plants with other sources of power generation would increase New Jersey electricity bills by about $400 million a year.
During an outage, a third of the reactor's fuel is replaced and additional work is performed to ensure operational efficiency and equipment reliability.
During the refueling outage, more than 1,000 contractors and craftspeople will live and shop locally, providing a major boost to the Salem county economy.
"The outages are a boon to the Salem County economy," said Jennifer Jones, executive director of the Salem County Chamber of Commerce. "All of the people that come into the area to help are potential customers for local merchants. Business increases dramatically at our shops, restaurants and hotels, which can make a big difference for our small business owners."
Gino DiMarco agrees. His family owns the Italian Kitchen, a popular restaurant minutes away from the nuclear plants.
"We get an influx of business during breakfast and dinner as workers come and go off shift," DiMarco said. "We also stay busy making lunchtime deliveries to the nuclear plants. It's an exciting time and we really enjoy it."
PSEG operates three nuclear units at its Salem County site, Salem units 1 and 2 and Hope Creek.
PSEG Nuclear is a subsidiary of PSEG Power, a multi-regional energy supply company and a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. (PSEG) (NYSE:PEG), a diversified energy company (https://corporate.pseg.com/). PSEG Nuclear operates the Salem and Hope Creek nuclear generating stations in southern New Jersey, which together comprise the second-largest commercial nuclear generating facility in the country and provide enough power for more than 2.5 million homes. PSEG Nuclear is a part-owner of the Peach Bottom nuclear generating station in Pennsylvania.
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