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Nuclear Output Hits Highest Since August on Turkey Point

U.S. nuclear-power generation rose for a fifth day, reaching the highest level of output since August, as reactors increased output in Florida and Ohio.

Nationwide production climbed 0.7 percent to 95,544 megawatts, or 94 percent of capacity, the highest level since Aug. 8, according to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission data compiled by Bloomberg. Output was 3.9 percent higher than a year ago, with six of 104 reactors offline.

NextEra Energy Inc. returned the 720-megawatt Turkey Point 3 reactor to full power from 60 percent of capacity yesterday. The unit, 20 miles (32 kilometers) south of Miami, was slowed Jan. 29 for planned turbine-valve testing and routine maintenance on equipment.

The 1,261-megawatt Perry 1 plant, 35 miles northeast of Cleveland, Ohio, operated at 99 percent of capacity early today, up from 68 percent yesterday. FirstEnergy Corp. has been restoring the unit to full power since Jan. 27. The reactor tripped offline Jan. 22 when power to the feedwater system was interrupted, resulting in a declining water level.

Production rose in every region except the West, where Grand Gulf 1, 20 miles south of Vicksburg, Mississippi, dropped to 88 percent output from 94 percent yesterday. Entergy Corp. is returning the 1,297-megawatt reactor to full power after a generator trip 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 46 days in 2012, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute.

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