U.S. Nuclear Output Rises To 10-Week High as Reactors Start

U.S. nuclear-power generation rose to the highest level in 10 weeks as reactors in Connecticut and Michigan finished refueling.

Nationwide production advanced 1.9 percent to 83,841 megawatts from May 17, or 82 percent of capacity, the most since March 12, according to Nuclear Regulatory Commission data compiled by Bloomberg. Output was 0.7 percent higher than a year ago with 17 of 104 plants offline.

Dominion Resources Inc. started the 1,227-megawatt Millstone 3 reactor in Connecticut, which was operating at 64 percent of capacity early today. The unit, about 3 miles (5 kilometers) southwest of New London, was shut for five weeks.

American Electric Power Co. boosted the 1,009-megawatt D.C. Cook 1 reactor in Michigan. The unit, about 26 miles northwest of South Bend, Indiana, was operating at 30 percent of capacity after being offline for almost eight weeks for refueling and maintenance.

FirstEnergy Corp. raised production at the 1,261-megawatt Perry 1 reactor, 35 miles northeast of Cleveland, Ohio, to 97 percent from 28 percent of capacity May 17.

N.Y. Reactor

Constellation Energy Group Inc. increased output at the 621-megawatt Nine Mile Point 1 reactor, about 6 miles northeast of Oswego, New York, to 100 percent of capacity from 75 percent on May 17, NRC data show. The plant was taken offline last month for scheduled refueling, according to Jill Lyon, a company spokeswoman based at the plant.

Generation in the Midwest climbed today to 18,395 megawatts, or 86 percent of capacity, the most since March 17. Northeast reactors were producing 20,245 megawatts of electricity, 82 percent of capacity, the most since April 14.

The South Texas Project Nuclear Operating Co. raised production at the 1,410-megawatt South Texas 1 unit to full capacity from 70 percent on May 17. The reactor, about 80 miles southwest of Houston, was shut a week earlier for maintenance in preparation for the summer peak demand period, according to Buddy Eller, a spokesman based at the plant.

The South Texas Project is co-owned by NRG Energy Corp. and the municipal utilities for Austin and San Antonio.

Duke Energy Corp. shut the 938-megawatt Brunswick 1 reactor in North Carolina, which was operating at full capacity on May 17. Production at Unit 2 at the plant, 130 miles south of Raleigh, was boosted to 100 percent from 78 percent during the same period.

NextEra Energy Inc. reduced output at the 720-megawatt Turkey Point 4 reactor in Florida to 49 percent from 92 percent of capacity May 17. The plant is 20 miles south of Miami.

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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