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U.S. Nuclear Output Falls on Reactor Drops in Nebraska and Ohio

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Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. nuclear power generation fell for the fourth time in five days as reactors in Nebraska and Ohio lowered output.

Production slid 0.6 percent to 89,266 megawatts, or 88 percent of capacity, 5.1 percent lower than a year earlier, according to Nuclear Regulatory Commission data compiled by Bloomberg. Eleven of 104 U.S. reactors were offline.

Nebraska Public Power District’s Cooper 1, a 830-megawatt reactor 64 miles (103 kilometers) south of Omaha, cut generation to 24 percent of capacity from 71 percent yesterday. Production in the NRC’s western region was 17 percent lower than a year earlier.

Output at Perry 1, FirstEnergy Corp.’s 1,261-megawatt reactor 35 miles northeast of Cleveland, fell to 78 percent of capacity from 100 percent yesterday, leading Midwestern generation lower by 2.1 percent from a year ago.

Output in the Southeast rose by 31 megawatts as production at Summer 1 in South Carolina increased to 99 percent of production. Northeastern generation declined by 23 megawatts as output fell 11 megawatts at each of PPL Corp.’s two Susquehanna reactors 50 miles northwest of Allentown, Pennsylvania.

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.

To contact the reporter on this story: Joshua Falk in New York at jfalk19@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net

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