PPL Corp.’s Susquehanna nuclear power plant in Luzerne County, Pa., is the nation’s largest boiling water reactor (BWR) in terms of thermal power and generating capacity, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The plant’s Unit 1, which recently completed equipment and system upgrades during a recent scheduled refueling and maintenance outage, boasts 3,952 MWth and 1,300 MWe when operating at full capacity.

Workers completed a number of equipment upgrades during the recent outage that enable Unit 1 to produce more steam and generate more electricity. Upgrades included installation of a new integrated digital control system for plant equipment and replacing turbines that power pumps that provide water to the reactor vessel, PPL said in a statement.

The completion of upgrades during this year’s Unit 1 outage continues a four-year project begun in 2008 to increase the amount of electricity the Susquehanna plant can safely and reliably generate. That project is expected to conclude in 2011 after further upgrades to Unit 2 are completed, at which point Unit 2 will have a similar capacity for thermal and electrical energy.

PPL owns 90% of the electricity generated by the Susquehanna plant. Allegheny Electric Cooperative owns 10%.

Sources: PPL Corp., POWERnews