Wednesday, May 29, 2013

US Nuclear Production Continues Falling In 2013 And Boosts Coal Generation

One reason that coal-fired power plants are having a good run in 2013 is rising natural gas prices, but a second factor boosting coal generation is the continuing drop in output from nuclear plants.  In the first two months of 2013, nuclear output  fell 2.5% compared to the same period in 2012 and 3.5% from 2011 levels. at section 8.

In January and February 2013, nuclear plants cumulatively generated 132.8 billion kilowatt-hours and operated at a 92.3% capacity factor.  Those numbers dropped from 137.5 billion kilowatt-hours and a 96% capacity factor in 2011.

The drop in production reflects continuing plant struggles in California and Florida but do not include the recent retirement of a nuclear plant in Wisconsin.  In short, the full 2013 is shaping up to be a not good one for the nation's nuclear fleet.

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