U.S. Nuclear Production Rises With 27 Reactors Out of Service

U.S. nuclear-power output increased as three reactors shut and four started amid seasonal refueling, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said.

Power generation nationwide increased 260 megawatts from April 21 to 72,041 megawatts, or 71 percent of capacity, the lowest level since Oct. 22, 2006, according to an NRC report today and data compiled by Bloomberg. Twenty-seven of the nation’s 104 reactors were offline.

Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. (PEG) shut the 1,174- megawatt Salem 1 reactor in New Jersey on April 21 after water intake filters became clogged, the NRC said. The unit is operating at 8 percent of capacity, down from full power. Another unit at the site, the 1,130-megawatt Salem 2, is shut.

The plant is located about 18 miles (29 kilometers) south of Wilmington, Delaware.

Constellation Nuclear Energy Group LLC, a joint venture of Constellation Energy Group Inc. with Electricite de France SA, idled the 498-megawatt Ginna reactor in New York yesterday.

Ginna is on Lake Ontario, about 17 miles northeast of Rochester. Constellation is based in Baltimore.

Duke Energy Corp. (DUK) shut the 1,129-megawatt Catawba 1 reactor in South Carolina. Catawba 2, another 1,129-megawatt unit at the plant 17 miles southwest of Charlotte, North Carolina, is operating at 100 percent of capacity.

Dominion Resources Inc. started the 799-megawatt Surry 1 reactor in Virginia and the unit is operating at 99 percent of capacity. Surry 2, another 799-megawatt reactor at the site, is closed. The plant is about 17 miles northwest of Newport News.

Southern Co. (SO) switched on the 1,109-megawatt Vogtle 1 reactor in Georgia after it automatically tripped offline April 20 while at full power. The cause is under investigation, the NRC said April 21. The unit is operating at 30 percent of capacity.

The 1,127-megawatt Vogtle 2 is operating at full capacity. The plant is 26 miles southeast of Augusta.

Exelon Corp. (EXC) started the 1,164-megawatt Byron 1 reactor in Illinois after a refueling outage, the company said in an e- mail. The unit is operating at 40 percent of capacity. Another unit at the site, the 1,136-megawatt Byron 2, is operating at full capacity. The plant is 85 miles west of Chicago.

Exelon switched on the 1,134-megawatt Limerick 2 reactor in Pennsylvania on April 23 after an outage for refueling and maintenance. The unit is operating at 34 percent of capacity.

Limerick 1 Operating

Another reactor at the site, the 1,134-megawatt Limerick 1, is operating at full capacity. The plant is about 30 miles northwest of Philadelphia.

FirstEnergy Corp. (FE) boosted output at its 940-megawatt Beaver Valley 1 reactor in Shippingport, Pennsylvania, about 26 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, to full capacity from 82 percent on April 21. Another 940-megawatt unit at the plant, Beaver Valley 2, is operating at full power.

Progress Energy Inc. (PGN) boosted the 937-megawatt Brunswick 2 unit in North Carolina to 89 percent of capacity from 22 percent on April 21. The 938-megawatt Brunswick 1 is operating at full power at the Cape Fear site 130 miles south of Raleigh.

PG&E Corp. (PCG) increased output at its 1,149-megawatt Diablo Canyon Unit 1 reactor in California to 100 percent of capacity from 85 percent on April 21. Another reactor, 1,151-megawatt Unit 2, is operating at full power at the site, about 160 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

Some reactors close for maintenance and refueling during the spring and fall in the U.S., when demand for heating and cooling is lower. The outages can increase consumption of natural gas and coal to generate electricity.

The average U.S. reactor refueling outage lasted 41 days in 2009, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute.

To contact the reporter on this story: Colin McClelland in Toronto at cmcclelland1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net

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