99 of 100 U.S. nuclear units now producing power

Winter is almost here and all but one of the commercial nuclear units in the United States was generating power early Dec. 11.

At the same time spot power and natural gas prices have ticked upward in New England as that region experiences some harsh weather.

The daily reactor status report issued by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) showed that 99 of the 100 active reactors in the nation were generating some amount of power. A couple of months ago, a large chunk of the nation’s nuclear plants were offline during the peak of the fall refueling and maintenance season.

The Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL) Prairie Island 1 nuclear plant in Minnesota was listed at zero generation in the NRC report. All other units were operating, most of them at or near 100% power.

Meanwhile, the Entergy (NYSE:ETR) Vermont Yankee plant was listed at 79% hearing into its final weeks of operation. Entergy has announced plans to close Vermont Yankee at the end of this year and has already started to gradually reduce its level of power generation.

New England is already experiencing some upticks in spot gas and power prices during some harsh December weather.

New England’s spot power price as listed at $74.56/MWh while it’s spot natural gas price was listed at $10/mmBtu, both the highest in the nation, according to Dec. 11 data posted by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

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.