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Nuclear Output Increases on Entergy’s Louisiana Reactors

U.S. nuclear-power generation rose for a third day as Entergy Corp. increased output at two reactors in Louisiana.

Nationwide production advanced 0.7 percent to 93,122 megawatts, or 91 percent of capacity, the highest level since Jan. 21, according to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission data compiled by Bloomberg. Output dropped 1.7 percent from a year ago, with eight of 104 reactors shut.

Generation at the 1,250-megawatt Waterford 3 plant rose to 93 percent of capacity from 58 percent yesterday. The unit, 25 miles (40 kilometers) west of New Orleans, tripped offline Jan. 21 when one of its steam generators reached a “low level condition,” a commission filing showed.

Technicians repaired a valve on the feedwater system, which supplies water to the generators, Carl Rhode, a company spokesman based at the plant, said in an e-mail.

River Bend 1 operated at full power early today, a gain from 77 percent of capacity yesterday. The 989-megawatt plant is about 24 miles northwest of Baton Rouge.

Output in the NRC’s West region, which includes Louisiana, increased for a second day and reached its highest level since Jan. 14.

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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