| News

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Beaver Valley nuclear power unit nears restart

On the Grid

From the shale fields to the cooling towers, Trib Total Media covers the energy industry in Western Pennsylvania and beyond. For the latest news and views on gas, coal, electricity and more, check out On the Grid today.

By Timothy Puko
Monday, June 3, 2013, 10:01 p.m.

The Beaver Valley nuclear power station is close to restarting a unit that's been shut down since last week, with workers on Monday putting the lid back on its generator, company officials said.

The company found slackened wires causing unusual vibrations in the second of the Shippingport site's two units, said Eric A. Larson, a vice president who oversees the site for FirstEnergy Corp. Sensors caught the problem before it caused any damage, and workers were able to fix the wires within about 48 hours during the weeklong shutdown, said Peter P. Sena III, president and chief nuclear officer at the company's nuclear unit.

“It's a very quick response,” Larson said. “It's quick, but the quality is extremely quick, too.”

The company leaders gave an hourlong tour of the site on Monday to the Tribune-Review in an effort to increase transparency for a plant under increased federal scrutiny. In addition to the shutdown, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has been stepping up oversight since the company reported an unnamed security problem in August.

It's been resolved and the 1,800-megawatt plant is in great shape, said Sena, who works at the company's Akron, Ohio, headquarters to oversee all three of its nuclear power plants. That includes Perry Nuclear Power Plant outside Cleveland, which also came under federal scrutiny when workers found two goldfish in a pitcher in a secure area of the plant about a month ago.

Sena called it the result of unprofessional behavior and vowed to find the people responsible. The company has been investigating and plans to release more information about the incident in the coming weeks, he said.

“It was personal against me,” Sena said. “It was personal against FirstEnergy. It was personal against the workers of our company. It was personal against the entire nuclear power industry.”

Officials have declined to say how much the work at Beaver Valley cost or when exactly it will be finished. They did say that all that's left is to finish reattaching the lid on the inside of the generator and then a second lid on the outside. Working with a contractor, Siemens, and several local unions, the company employed about 30 workers a shift, in two shifts around the clock, to make the repairs, Larson said.

Timothy Puko is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7991 or



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Freezing rain hits Western Pennsylvania, many accidents reported
  2. District football roundup: W&J advances in Division III playoffs; Slippery Rock ousted
  3. Bluegrass jam sessions bring out all types of musicians, fans
  4. ‘Gutenberg’s Apprentice’ tells how the printed Bible came to be
  5. In ‘The Peripheral,’ Gibson travels back to the future
  6. Penn State struggles against Big Ten’s worst defense in loss to Illinois
  7. Baldacci’s ‘Escape’ brings fast, furious twists and turns
  8. Police investigating shooting outside of Monessen bar
  9. Ohio woman shot to death nearly 3 days before police find body in Neshannock home
  10. Steelers’ Wheaton embraces expanding role
  11. Dick Cavett memoir looks back on more than TV show
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.