Exelon Corp. (EXC) returned its 619-megawatt Oyster Creek 1 reactor to full power in New Jersey, boosting U.S. Northeastern generation to a seven-week high and helping nationwide production climb for a second day.
Total U.S. output increased 0.7 percent to 87,942 megawatts, or 86 percent of capacity, according to Nuclear Regulatory Commission data compiled by Bloomberg. Generation was 5.7 percent higher than a year ago with 12 of 104 reactors shut.
Oyster Creek 1, 33 miles (53 kilometers) north of Atlantic City, returned to full power late yesterday after completing repairs to a water flow regulator valve, said Suzanne D’Ambrosio, a company spokeswoman based at the plant. The unit operated at 70 percent of capacity when the commission compiled its report early yesterday.
The increase led nuclear output higher by 1.8 percent to 22,020 megawatts in the Northeast, the highest since April 14, according to commission data compiled by Bloomberg. Plants operated by Entergy Corp. (ETR) and PPL (PPL) Corp. also aided the gain.
Pilgrim 1, an Entergy-operated reactor with the capacity to generate 685 megawatts near Plymouth, Massachusetts, increased to 100 percent of power for the first time since completing refueling and maintenance that began in April. The plant ran at 85 percent of capacity yesterday.
PPL raised power to 14 percent at the 1,149-megawatt Susquehanna 1 reactor after shutting the unit in early May to complete turbine modifications. Susquehanna Unit 2, which also operated at 14 percent of capacity, is returning from refueling. The reactors are 50 miles northwest of Allentown, Pennsylvania.
“Both units are in the startup process,” Joe Scopelliti, a spokesman based in Berwick, Pennsylvania, said in an e-mail. “We will continue to monitor the turbines on both units to confirm the modifications that were made.”
Reactor maintenance shutdowns, usually undertaken in the U.S. spring or fall when energy use is 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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