Northeastern Power Boosts Push Nuclear Output to One-Month High

Power increases at northeastern reactors including Constellation Energy Group Inc.’s Nine Mile Point 2 and Public Service Enterprise Group Inc.’s Salem 2 lifted U.S. nuclear production to a one-month high.

Total U.S. generation increased by 0.7 percent to 77,830 megawatts, or 76 percent of capacity, the highest level since Oct. 19, according to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission data compiled by Bloomberg. Output was 10 percent lower than a year ago with 23 of 104 reactors offline.

Nine Mile Point 2, a 1,140-megawatt plant 6 miles (10 kilometers) northeast of Oswego, New York, is operating at full capacity, up from 53 percent yesterday. The reactor shut Nov. 15 for planned maintenance on a steam valve and repairs to the switch yard, said Jill Lyon, a company spokeswoman based in Scriba, New York.

Salem 2, a New Jersey reactor with a capacity of 1,130 megawatts, was operating at 29 percent of capacity, up from 20 percent yesterday. The unit shut for refueling and maintenance on Oct. 14. Work was delayed for two days because of Hurricane Sandy, said Joe Delmar, a plant spokesman based in Newark.

Constellation also boosted output at its Ginna reactor, a 498-megawatt unit near Rochester, New York. It was operating at 29 percent of capacity at 7:50 a.m. local time, according to Maria Hudson, a company spokeswoman based in Ontario, New York, up from 13 percent earlier today.

Northeastern nuclear-power generation increased 4.4 percent to 20,111 megawatts, the highest level since Nov. 10, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

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 43 days in 2011, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute.

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