Capacity factor of domestic nuclear fleet was 80.9% in October

The domestic nuclear fleet’s average estimated capacity factor in October 2016 was 80.9%, compared to 82.5% in October 2015, according to information from the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI).

Estimated U.S. nuclear generation in October 2016 was 60.3 billion kWh, compared to 60.6 billion kWh in October 2015, according to NEI’s monthly nuclear performance report.

Twenty-one reactors were shut down for refueling for some or all of October.

Industry highlights during October included the start of commercial operations at the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Watts Bar 2 facility. Watts Bar 2 is a 1,100-MW Westinghouse four-loop pressurized water reactor (PWR).

Also during October, the Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) Fort Calhoun nuclear plant shut down, NEI noted. The smallest commercial nuclear plant in the nation 478-MW, Fort Calhoun ceased operations on Oct. 24. Its fuel was removed during the period between Oct. 29 and Nov. 7, according to NEI.

Year-to-date the domestic nuclear power industry has recorded a capacity factor of 91.1%. That’s below the 2015 YTD figure of 92.7% but slightly better than the 91% recorded during the same period in 2014, NEI report.

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, according to NEI.

Capacity figures come from the EIA and are the net summer capacities reported in the 860 Form; other capacity figures are from media or company reports, NEI said.

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