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U.S. Nuclear Output Rises as American Starts Reactor in Michigan

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March 18 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. nuclear-power output rose for the fourth day after American Electric Power Co. started the Donald C. Cook 1 reactor in Michigan, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said.

Production nationwide increased by 382 megawatts, or 0.4 percent, from yesterday to 87,543 megawatts, or 86 percent of capacity, according to a report today from the NRC and data compiled by Bloomberg. Fourteen of the nation’s 104 reactors were offline.

American Electric’s 1,060-megawatt Donald C. Cook 1 reactor was operating at 28 percent of capacity. The plant is located on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, 26 miles (42 kilometers) northwest of South Bend, Indiana. The 1,009-megawatt Cook 2, another unit at the site, is operating at full power.

Constellation Nuclear Energy Group LLC, a joint venture of Constellation Energy Group Inc. and Electricite de France SA, boosted its 867-megawatt Calvert Cliffs 2 reactor in Maryland to 95 percent of capacity from 83 percent yesterday.

Another reactor at the plant, the 867-megawatt Calvert Cliffs 1, is operating at full power. The plant is located 38 miles (61 kilometers) south of Annapolis.

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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