PPL Corp. made the decision on Dec. 13 to take Unit 1 at its Susquehanna nuclear power plant offline due to a small water leak inside the plant’s reactor containment.

The water leak is reported to be “well within” the plant’s limits for continued safe operation, but the company chose to shut down as a conservative measure to complete repairs. PPL says it wanted to “enhance the unit’s reliability for the upcoming winter, when cold weather drives higher electricity use.”

Susquehanna is a dual-unit nuclear power plant with boiling water reactors capable of generating 1,300 MW each. The plant is located in Luzerne County, Pa.—about seven miles northeast of Berwick—and is majority-owned by PPL Corp., with Allegheny Electric Cooperative Inc. owning a 10% share. Units 1 and 2 began commercial operation in 1983 and 1985, respectively. The leak in Unit 1 has no effect on the operation of Unit 2.

According to PPL Susquehanna spokeswoman, Miriam Mylin, work was in progress on Dec. 15 to correct the problem, but for competitive business reasons no estimate was given for the plant’s return to service. The actual volumetric flow rate of the leak was also not given.

“It is a very low level event,” Mylin told POWER. “We’re still working through the process of resolving it.”

Aaron Larson, associate editor (@AaronL_Power, @POWERmagazine)