The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has imposed a $600,000 civil penalty on Public Service Electric and Gas Co. (PSE&G) for six violations at the Salem Nuclear Generating Station. PSE&G, which owns and operates 42.59 percent of the plant, responded by shutting Salem down temporarily.
"We take no issue with the concerns raised by the NRC," says Leon R. Eliason, PSE&G chief nuclear officer and president of its nuclear business. "The violations involved matters and events that contributed to my decision to shut down both Salem units and keep them off line until I am convinced they will operate safely and reliably." Work on Salem 1 is being extended for 60 days, but Eliason expects the unit to begin producing power in the second quarter of 1996.
Moody's Investors Service, however, has become increasingly concerned about Unit 1's restart delay until the second quarter, and the possibility that
Unit 2's second quarter 96 restart may be revised. Moody's says further restart delays will increase PSE&G's replacement power costs, which could magnify potential earnings penalties. In addition, PSE&G's new and well-respected nuclear team will need time to resolve Salem's ongoing operating problems. Prospectively, PSE&G will be challenged not only to improve its nuclear performance, but also to manage the difficult transition to retail wheeling, given its high-cost structure.
Articles found on this page are available to Internet subscribers only. For more information about obtaining a username and password, please call our Customer Service Department at 1-800-368-5001.