Nuclear outages pick up as spring refueling season begins

Roughly 13,000 MW of nameplate nuclear generating capacity was listed as not in service in the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) reactor status report for March 7.

Most of the units that were listed at zero percent generation in the regular report are undergoing regularly-scheduled refueling and maintenance outages. Most domestic reactors are scheduled to refuel every 18 months and such outages are usually held during the spring or fall “shoulder” seasons when demand tends to be lower.

Virtually all the nation’s 100 nuclear operating units were running during the height of the so-called “polar vortex” in early January.

Here is the rundown as listed by operating parent, plant name and unit, nameplate capacity, as found in GenerationHub data, and state:

**Constellation Energy Nuclear Group (CENG) Calvert Cliffs 1 (900 MW) in Maryland;

**Entergy (NYSE:ETR) Indian Point 2 (1,300 MW) in New York;

**Exelon (NYSE:EXC) Limerick 1 (1,100) in Pennsylvania;

**PPL (NYSE:PPL) Susquehanna 2 (1,300 MW) in Pennsylvania;

**Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Browns Ferry 3 (1,150 MW) in Alabama; **Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) Brunswick 1 (1,000 MW) in North Carolina; **NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE) St. Lucie 2 (1,080 MW) in Florida; **FirstEnergy (NYSE:FE) Davis-Besse (925 MW) in Ohio;

**DTE (NYSE:DTE) Fermi 2 (1,200 MW) in Michigan;

** Entergy Palisades (800 MW) in Michigan;

**PG&E (NYSE:PCG) Diablo Canyon 1 (1,150 MW) in California; and

**Entergy Grand Gulf 1 (1,350 MW) in Mississippi.

Not all of the units are down for a planned refueling. For example, PPL Susquehanna 2 is offline for a turbine inspection. CENG’s Nine Mile Point 2 was recently knocked offline by an electrical problem, but the March 7 report listed the unit at 16%, which would indicate that the unit is returning to service.

CENG is a joint venture of Exelon and EDF Group and they have announced that the CENG plants will be rolled into the Exelon operating fleet.

In addition, the NRC report listed the Southern (NYSE:SO) Hatch 1 unit in Georgia back at 32% on March 7. Hatch 1 had started a refueling outage in early February. It typically takes units a few days to power back up to 100% generation.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.