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U.S. Nuclear Output Rises as Hatch Unit in Georgia Boosts Power

U.S. nuclear output rose 0.3 percent after Southern Co. boosted its Hatch 1 reactor in Georgia and Exelon Corp. shut its Oyster Creek unit in New Jersey, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission reported.

Production from U.S. plants increased by 328 megawatts from yesterday to 96,844 megawatts, or 95 percent of capacity, according to the report today from the NRC and data compiled by Bloomberg. Four of 104 power reactors were offline.

Southern increased output at its 876-megawatt Hatch 1 reactor to 86 percent of capacity from 67 percent yesterday after repairing a feedwater pump.

Another reactor at the site, the 883-megawatt Hatch 2, is operating at full power. The plant is located 74 miles (119 kilometers) west of Savannah, Georgia.

Exelon Corp. shut its 619-megawatt Oyster Creek reactor in New Jersey yesterday to perform maintenance on one of its five recirculation pumps, David Benson, a plant spokesman, said in an e-mailed statement. The pumps move water through the reactor during power operations, Benson said.

The plant was at 20 percent of capacity yesterday and has operated at reduced power since Dec. 12 when it replaced a faulty transformer that was installed last month. It is 33 miles north of Atlantic City.

Killing Fish

The plant shutdown killed 14 fish, including seven speckled sea trout and two black drums, when water in its discharge canal into Barnegat Bay suddenly became too cold, Benson and the NRC reported. The plant ejects warm water into the bay because it doesn’t have cooling towers. Plant regulations require informing the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection when fish are killed.

“In cold weather, we always take precautions to lower power gradually in order to minimize the effect on the aquatic life in the canal,” Mike Massaro, site vice president, said in the company’s statement.

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