U.S. nuclear fleet capacity beats 98% in August

The U.S. nuclear fleet’s average estimated capacity factor in August 2015 was 98.4%, compared to 96.4% in August 2014, the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) said in its latest performance report.

Estimated U.S. nuclear generation in the past month was 72.4 billion kWh, compared to 71.1 billion kWh in August 2014, NEI said. Ninety-five of the 99 operating reactors ran at a 90% or higher capacity factor during the month; 48 reactors ran at 100% or higher.

The 98.4% recorded in the most recent month is also up from the 97% recorded in July. Don’t expect September’s figure to be as high given the fact that several reactors are already starting their regularly-scheduled refueling and maintenance outage.

This fall’s nuclear refueling season is expected to be much busier than last fall’s outage season, NEI said in the report.

The U.S. nuclear fleet’s capacity factor performance year-to-date is 93.7% compared to 91.4% attained during the same point in 2014, according to the NEI data.

The monthly ‘Nuclear Performance’ report is produced monthly by NEI’s Policy Development and Planning Division. Generation estimates are based on Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Monthly Operating Reports obtained through the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) and Energy Information Administration (EIA) 923 Form.

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.