The Susquehanna Nuclear Power Plant located in Salem Township is on track to generate more power in 2017 than in any other year in its 35-year history, according to Tim Rausch, Senior Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer of Talen Energy. While nuclear plants across the country have been shutting down in recent years due to low energy pricing, the Susquehanna station has been improving operational efficiencies to remain competitive. Rausch’s comments were made to local elected officials and representatives of the business community at a recent meeting.
In late September, Energy Secretary Rick Perry directed the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to “issue a final rule requiring its organized markets to develop and implement market rules that accurately price generation resources necessary to maintain the reliability and resiliency of our nation’s power system.” The construction of natural gas power plants combined with federal subsidies for the development of wind and solar power generation has resulted in lower energy prices that threaten the viability of traditional fossil fuel and nuclear power plants. Shuttering these plants could put the nation’s base power supply at risk. Mr. Rausch noted that Talen Energy is interested in a level playing field to ensure fair competition. He does not expect to see any changes in the immediate future.
When Talen Energy became a privately-held corporation in December of 2016, Rausch noted that Team Susquehanna remained committed to the safety and health of the community. In addition to dozens of emergency preparedness drills conducted in 2017, the annual refueling was completed last on time and on budget with no injuries .