March 8 (Bloomberg) --Nuclear-power production in the U.S. Midwest fell the most since January after Exelon Corp. (EXC)’s Clinton 1 plant tripped offline.
Nationwide generation declined 1.1 percent to 85,092 megawatts, or 83 percent of capacity, the first drop in five days, according to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission data compiled by Bloomberg. Output was 1.8 percent higher than a year ago, with 16 of 104 reactors offline.
Clinton 1, a 1,065-megawatt unit, shut yesterday because of a main generator trip, a commission filing showed. The cause was under investigation. The plant is about 23 miles (37 kilometers) southeast of Bloomington, Illinois.
Output in the Midwest, which includes Clinton, fell 5.1 percent, the biggest drop since Jan. 22.
Production in the Southeast declined 0.3 percent as Southern Co. (SO)’s Vogtle 2, a 1,127-megawatt reactor, fell to 84 percent of capacity from 90 percent yesterday. The unit 26 miles southeast of Augusta, Georgia, began to slow Feb. 12 in preparation for refueling.
Reactor maintenance shutdowns, usually undertaken in the U.S. spring or fall when energy use is at its lowest, may increase consumption of natural gas and coal to generate electricity. The average refueling down time was 46 days in 2012, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute.
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