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U.S. Nuclear Power Climbs to Highest Level in 10 Days

U.S. nuclear-power generation advanced, led by the Southeastern region’s highest level of output in 17 months, as the Tennessee Valley Authority restored a reactor in Alabama to full capacity.

U.S. nuclear output increased 0.6 percent to 93,881 megawatts, or 92 percent of capacity, the highest level in 10 days, according to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission data compiled by Bloomberg. Production was 1.7 percent more than a year ago, with eight of 104 reactors offline.

Tennessee Valley Authority boosted its 1,065-megawatt Browns Ferry 1 reactor to full power. The plant, 32 miles west of Huntsville, Alabama, was 50 percent operational two days ago. Generation in the Southeast, known as Region 2 by the commission, rose to 30,083 megawatts, the highest level since August 2011.

Exelon Corp. restored the 1,112-megawatt Peach Bottom 3 plant to full capacity after the unit, 18 miles (30 kilometers) south of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, dropped to 75 percent capacity yesterday.

Reactor maintenance shutdowns, usually undertaken in the U.S. spring or fall when energy use is at its 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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