U.S. Nuclear Output Increases as FirstEnergy Boosts Perry 1

Jan. 28 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. nuclear-power generation rose the most in two weeks as FirstEnergy Corp. increased output at the Perry 1 plant in Ohio.

Production nationwide advanced 1.4 percent to 92,614 megawatts, or 91 percent of capacity, the biggest daily gain since Jan. 13, according to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission data compiled by Bloomberg. Output dropped 0.7 percent from a year ago, with seven of 104 reactors offline.

The 1,261-megawatt Perry 1, about 35 miles (56 kilometers) northeast of Cleveland, operated at 35 percent of capacity early today. The unit tripped offline Jan. 22 after power to the plant’s feedwater system was interrupted, resulting in a declining water level, Jennifer Young, a company spokeswoman based in Akron, said in an e-mail today.

“Full power is expected to be achieved later this week,” Young said.

The Tennessee Valley Authority returned Sequoyah 2, a 1,126-megawatt plant 16 miles northeast of Chattanooga, Tennessee, to full power from 25 percent of capacity yesterday. That created the largest daily gain for the NRC’s Southeast region since Jan. 1.

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.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kenneth Christensen in New York at kchristense9@bloomberg.net

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