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U.S. Nuclear Production Little Changed as Reactors Adjust Output

U.S. nuclear-power output was little changed as reactors adjusted production amid seasonal refueling, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said.

Power generation nationwide decreased 11 megawatts from yesterday to 72,888 megawatts, or 72 percent of capacity, according to an NRC report today and data compiled by Bloomberg. Twenty-six of the nation’s 104 reactors were offline.

Exelon Corp. slowed output from the 1,120-megawatt LaSalle 2 reactor in Illinois to 80 percent of capacity from full power yesterday. The 1,118-megawatt LaSalle 1 unit is operating at full capacity at the site, 70 miles (113 kilometers) southwest of Chicago.

Exelon increased output from the 1,164-megawatt Byron 1 reactor in Illinois to 80 percent of capacity from 65 percent yesterday after a refueling outage. Another unit at the site, the 1,136-megawatt Byron 2, is operating at full power. The plant is located 85 miles west of Chicago.

Energy Future boosted the 1,150-megawatt Comanche Peak 2 to 46 percent of capacity from 1 percent yesterday. The 1,200-megawatt Comanche Peak Unit 1 is producing at full power. The plant is 66 miles southwest of Dallas.

Constellation Nuclear Energy Group LLC, a joint venture of Constellation Energy Group Inc. and Electricite de France SA, slowed the 621-megawatt Nine Mile Point Unit 1 in New York to 46 percent of capacity from 78 percent yesterday for repairs on one of three pumps that supply water to the reactor core, Jill Lyon, a spokeswoman for the plant, said in an e-mailed response to questions.

Another unit at the site, the 1,140-megawatt Unit 2, is at full power. The plant is 6 miles northeast of Oswego.

Vermont Yankee

Entergy Corp. boosted output from the 620-megawatt Vermont Yankee reactor to full power from 76 percent of capacity yesterday. Output had been lowered at the request of the grid operator, ISO New England, because of the loss of a power line, Larry Smith, a spokesman for the plant, said in an e-mailed response to questions.

The plant is in Vernon, in the southeast corner of Vermont, 80 miles northwest of Boston.

Entergy slowed both units at the Arkansas Nuclear One plant at the request of the Little Rock Transmission Operating Center because a storm knocked out a 500-kilovolt line on April 25, Donna Gregory, a spokeswoman for the plant, said by telephone. The plant is expected to increase output after repairs are completed in the next few days, Gregory said.

The 843-megawatt Unit 1 and the 995-megawatt Unit 2 each dropped to 43 percent of capacity from full power on April 25. The plant is located 65 miles northwest of Little Rock.

Prairie Island 1

Xcel Energy Inc. slowed the 551-megawatt Prairie Island 1 reactor in Minnesota to 90 percent of capacity from 96 percent yesterday. The 545-megawatt Prairie Island 2, another reactor at the site about 40 miles southeast of Minneapolis, is operating at full power.

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.

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