New Jersey Reactor Shutdown Lowers U.S. Nuclear Output

Nationwide nuclear-power production declined for a second day after Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. shut the Hope Creek 1 reactor in New Jersey.

U.S. generation fell 1 percent to 90,936 megawatts, or 91 percent of capacity, the biggest drop since June 1, according to Nuclear Regulatory Commission data compiled by Bloomberg. Output was unchanged from last year with 11 of 104 reactors offline.

The 1,061-megawatt Hope Creek 1, about 18 miles (29 kilometers) south of Wilmington, Delaware, was manually shut yesterday after the loss of a water pump, according to the company. The unit operated at full power when the NRC took its daily survey of the nation’s reactors yesterday.

“Repairs are under way,” Joe Delmar, a Public Service spokesman based in Newark, New Jersey, said in an e-mail. “I can’t provide a return to service.”

The idled unit lowered U.S. Northeastern nuclear generation to 22,774 megawatts, 3.8 percent less than yesterday and the biggest decline since May 18. Power boosts at PPL Corp.’s Susquehanna site in Pennsylvania eased the area’s drop.

The 1,140-megawatt Susquehanna 2 reactor returned to full power for the first time since completing a refueling and maintenance outage that began in April. The unit operated at 97 percent of capacity yesterday.

PPL increased power to 13 percent of capacity at the 1,149-megawatt Susquehanna 1 plant from 1 percent yesterday. The unit is returning from turbine modification maintenance and testing. Susquehanna 1 and 2 are 50 miles northwest of Allentown, Pennsylvania.

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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