Nuclear Output Slides on Power Dip at Duke’s Robinson 2

U.S. nuclear-power generation slid for the first time in three days after Duke Energy Corp. (DUK)’s Robinson 2 reactor cut power.

Nationwide production dropped 0.4 percent to 78,588 megawatts, or 77 percent of capacity, according to Nuclear Regulatory Commission data compiled by Bloomberg. Output was 3 percent higher than a year ago with 21 of the 104 U.S. nuclear reactors offline.

Duke’s 710-megawatt Robinson 2, about 58 miles (93 kilometers) northeast of Columbia, South Carolina, reduced generation to 50 percent of capacity from 100 percent yesterday. Rita Sipe, a company spokeswoman, did not immediately respond to an e-mail before normal business hours.

The cut led production lower by 1.4 percent to 25,330 megawatts in the Southeast, the NRC’s Region 2. That was the sixth consecutive daily drop, the longest streak of declines since March 20.

Generation was unchanged in the Midwest and West regions, while the Northeast posted a drop of 3 megawatts.

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. For Related News and Information:

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