Ten nuclear plants generating no power during refueling periods

Along with the football season and candidate debates, an increase in nuclear power plant refueling and maintenance outages are a sure sign that fall is here.

As of early Sept. 26, ten of the 100 active commercial reactors in the United States were listed at zero power by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Several had already acknowledged that they were doing planned outages.

FirstEnergy announced that it had taken the 939 MW Beaver Valley Unit 1 in Pennsylvania offline on Sept. 24 for scheduled refueling and maintenance. Exelon also made a Sept. 26 announcement that it took the 1,150 MW Braidwood Unit 1in Illinois offline for the same purpose.

A spokesperson for the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) confirmed that the 790 MW Cooper nuclear plant in Nebraska was taken offline over the weekend for a planned outage. NPPD expects to have the facility back in service in early November.

Other units currently listed at zero power include:

“-Exelon’s Oyster Creek (600 MW) facility in New Jersey;

“-Duke Energy Catawba 2 (1,150 MW) in South Carolina;

“-Dominion North Anna 1 (950 MW) in Virginia;

“-The NextEra Energy Saint Lucie Unit 1 in Florida;

“-Entergy Arkansas Nuclear One Unit 1 (850 MW) in Arkansas:

“-Entergy Grand Gulf 1 (1,250 MW) in Mississippi; and

“-the Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Wolf Creek plant in Kansas (1,200 MW).

In other nuclear generation news, Talen Energy said it will take the Susquehanna Unit 2 (1,200 MW) in Pennsylvania offline in the next few weeks to address turbine blade issues. Also the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has the Watts Bar 2 facility in Tennessee at 25 percent power after doing work to an electrical switchyard.

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Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 22 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.

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