Nuclear Output Rises on FirstEnergy, Exelon in Midwest

U.S. nuclear-power production rose for a second day, led by the biggest daily gain in the Midwest in more than a year.

Nationwide generation increased 1.5 percent to 94,030 megawatts, or 92 percent of capacity, the highest level since Jan. 4, according to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission data compiled by Bloomberg. Production increased 0.9 percent from a year ago, with six of 104 reactors offline.

FirstEnergy Corp. boosted Perry 1, a 1,261-megawatt plant, to 71 percent of capacity from 35 percent power yesterday. The reactor, about 35 miles (56 kilometers) northeast of Cleveland, automatically shut Jan. 22 when power to the plant’s feedwater system was interrupted, resulting in a declining water level, Jennifer Young, a company spokeswoman, said in an e-mail yesterday.

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

Quad Cities 2, an 869-megawatt reactor operated by Exelon Corp., returned to full power from 18 percent of capacity yesterday. The plant is about 20 miles northeast of Moline, Illinois. Midwestern output increased 5.5 percent to 20,367 megawatts, the region’s biggest gain since Dec. 12, 2011.

Production in the West rose as Entergy Corp.’s Grand Gulf 1 resumed operation. The 1,297-megawatt unit, 20 miles south of Vicksburg, Mississippi, operated at 21 percent power early today. The plant had been shut since Jan. 14 because of a generator trip, said Mike Bowling, a company spokesman based in Jackson, in an e-mail at the time.

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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