U.S. Nuclear Output Gains as South Texas 1 Finishes Work

U.S. nuclear-power generation climbed the most in two weeks after the South Texas Project Nuclear Operating Co. increased output at the 1,410-megawatt South Texas 1 reactor.

Nationwide production advanced 1.9 percent to 82,298 megawatts, or 81 percent of capacity, the biggest increase since May 3, according to Nuclear Regulatory Commission data compiled by Bloomberg. Output was 3.9 percent less than a year ago with 18 of 104 plants offline.

South Texas 1, about 80 miles (129 kilometers) southwest of Houston, increased to 70 percent of capacity today from 12 percent yesterday. The unit is returning to service after shutting for repairs in preparation for the summer peak-demand period, said Buddy Eller, a spokesman based at the plant.

The increase boosted Western nuclear generation to 17,480 megawatts, the highest level since May 10. Production in the NRC’s Northeastern region rose 1.6 percent to 19,304 megawatts, the second-biggest gain in the U.S.

Constellation Energy Group Inc. increased the 621-megawatt Nine Mile Point 1 reactor to 75 percent of capacity from 25 percent yesterday. The unit, about 6 miles northeast of Oswego, New York, shut for scheduled refueling last month, according to Jill Lyon, a company spokeswoman based at the plant.

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