Capacity Factor At Six-Year High In June

The U.S. nuclear power industry's 99 operating power generation facilities operated with a capacity factor of 96.4 percent in June, according to a Nuclear Energy Institute report.

Palo Verde NPPThe capacity factor was one percentage point higher than June 2014 and topped the 2013 June figure of 93.1 percent. It was the highest in six years, FierceEnergy reported.

Production in June – or generation – amounted to 68.5 billion kWh, topping June 2014's 68.1 BkWh and June 2013's 66.4 BkWh.

The NEI said 90 of the countries 99 operating reactors ran at a 90-percent or higher capacity in June with 62 reactors running at 100 percent or higher.

Spring refueling outages were quicker this year than last, averaging 34 days compared to 39 days in the spring of 2014.

The last two spring 2015 refueling shut downs were at Columbia and Robinson 2. They were completed June 25. Fall outages are scheduled at 30 plants, the NEI said.

“The top generating nuclear units in 2014 were, as usual, larger reactors in France, Germany and the United States,” the trade group reported. “In France, EDF's 1,560-MW Chooz-B2 was the top generator globally, producing 12.9 million MWh in 2014 and posting an annual capacity factor of 94.1 percent. Arizona Public Service's 1,405-MW Palo Verde-3 in the United States was in second place, producing 12.2 million MWh and posting an annual capacity factor of 97.5 percent. STP Nuclear Operating Company's 1,312-MW South Texas-2 in the United States was in third place, generating 12.19 million MWh and obtaining the highest capacity factor in the analysis globally, over 100 percent,” said the NEI.

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