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PSEG Nuclear's Salem-2 unit in New Jersey connects to grid

PSEG Nuclear's 1,232-MW Salem-2 in Hancocks Bridge, New Jersey, connected to the grid at 6:35 am EDT (1035 GMT) Monday after being taken off the grid July 4 following the control room receiving an intermittent alarm indicating a possible electrical fault or short, company spokesman Joseph Delmar said.

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The unit was operating at 18% capacity early this morning after operating at 12% capacity Sunday, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission said in daily reactor status reports.

The unit had shut at 4:23 am EDT June 28 when an electrical short caused the main generator protection signal to activate and automatically trip the main turbine. The short occurred because water entered a duct system that runs between the generator and main power transformer.

The reactor connected to the grid at 2:04 pm July 3 and reached 82% capacity early in the afternoon of July 4. But a power reduction began following the control room receiving the intermittent alarm, and the turbine and generator were taken offline at 11:22 pm July 4. Delmar said the cause of the intermittent alarm could "not be fully determined. We entered our operational decision-making process and have put additional monitoring in place to observe for additional faults."

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Delmar also said an estimate could not be provided as to when the unit is expected to be back at 100% capacity.

The 1,254-MW Salem-1 has been shut since April 14. The unit shut for a refueling and maintenance outage, and a visual inspection of a number of baffle-former bolts found some boltheads were missing and others were protruding. Delmar said June 29 that ultrasonic testing to assess the condition of more bolts and repairs were underway and that PSEG is "not commenting further on the status until the plant safely returns to service."

The nearby 1,240-MW Hope Creek-1 was operating at 100% capacity early Monday morning, according to the NRC.

--Michael McAuliffe,

--Edited by Annie Siebert,