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Entergy Power Boost in Mississippi Lifts Nuclear Output

Entergy Corp. raised output at the 1,297-megawatt Grand Gulf reactor in Mississippi, sending U.S. nuclear-power production higher for a second day.

Generation nationwide rose 31 megawatts from yesterday to 89,798 megawatts, or 88 percent of capacity, according to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission data compiled by Bloomberg. Output was 3.1 percent lower than a year ago with 12 of 104 nuclear reactors shut.

Entergy’s Grand Gulf, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) southwest of Vicksburg, operated at 85 percent of capacity today, compared with 60 percent yesterday. The unit is powering up after completing planned maintenance that began Dec. 8, said Suzanne Anderson, a company spokeswoman.

“The work was primarily associated with the main turbine generator systems and did not affect nuclear safety-related equipment,” Anderson, who is based at the plant, said in an e-mail. Testing and repairs were also done on several plant components, she said.

Brunswick 2, a Duke Energy Corp. reactor with the capacity to generate 937 megawatts near Raleigh, North Carolina, returned to 100 percent of power after operating yesterday at 80 percent.

“Brunswick was at reduced power to conduct planned testing of fuel and related components,” Rita Sipe, a company spokeswoman in Charlotte, said in an e-mail today.

Regional Output

Nuclear generation in the NRC’s Southeast region gained 0.7 percent to 27,835 megawatts, the highest level since Sept. 14, commission data compiled by Bloomberg showed. The advance was the biggest among U.S. regions.

NextEra Energy Inc.’s Florida-based St. Lucie 2 reactor operated at full power for a third day. The unit began powering up in November after work that boosted its capacity by about 150 megawatts, said Doug Andrews, a company spokesman based at the plant.

Crews replaced components including heat exchangers, generators, transformers, valves and pumps, Andrews said in a telephone interview. St. Lucie 2, near Fort Pierce, Florida, has the capacity to generate 1,002 megawatts, according to commission data.

Output in the Northeast declined 0.4 percent to 22,928 megawatts after Entergy slowed the 852-megawatt FitzPatrick reactor to 75 percent from full power yesterday. The unit is located near Oswego, New York.

Algae Removal

Entergy reduced the unit’s power to perform maintenance, said Tammy Holden, a company spokeswoman based at the plant.

“Workers removed algae and debris that accumulated in the station’s main condenser waterboxes as a result of a condition on Lake Ontario,” Holden said in an e-mail today.

Operators are also performing a regularly scheduled control rod sequence exchange, she said.

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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