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U.S. Nuclear Output Little Changed After Three Days of Declines

U.S. nuclear power generation was little changed after three days of declines as lower output at Alabama and California reactors outweighed gains at plants in Nebraska and Ohio.

Production dropped 0.01 percent to 89,259 megawatts, 5.1 percent below a year earlier, from 89,266 yesterday. Total U.S. output was 88 percent of capacity with 11 of the 104 U.S. reactors offline.

The Tennessee Valley Authority’s Browns Ferry 2, a reactor with a capacity of 1,104 megawatts 84 miles (135 kilometers) north of Birmingham, Alabama, lowered generation to 48 percent of capacity from 100 percent yesterday.

Output at Diablo Canyon 2, Pacific Gas & Electric Co.’s 1,149 megawatt reactor 160 miles northwest of Los Angeles, fell to 80 percent of capacity from 100 percent yesterday.

Nebraska Public Power District’s 830-megawatt Cooper 1, 64 miles south of Omaha, boosted production to 84 percent of capacity from 24 percent yesterday.

Perry 1, First Energy Corp.’s 1,261-megawatt reactor 35 miles northeast of Cleveland, raised output to 100 percent of of capacity from 78 percent yesterday.

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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