As the nation exits the July 4 holiday weekend, 99 of the 100 commercial nuclear power units in the United States are currently producing power, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) daily reactor status report on July 7.
PPL returned Unit 2 of the Susquehanna nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania to service on July 5 after shutting the facility down on June 25 to investigate small cracks in a few turbine blades. Several blades were replaced during the outage and newly-designed blades at scheduled for installation at Unit 2 in spring 2015.
With the return of Susquehanna 2, the Public Service Enterprise Group Salem 2 unit in New Jersey is the only nuclear power facility in the nation now listed at “zero” generation, according to NRC.
In addition, the NextEra Energy Turkey Point 3 nuclear unit in Florida, which has been running at reduced power, is back up to 84 percent. The unit was listed at only 55 percent as recently as July 3.
The additional nuclear generation might be needed given that summer is in full swing and spot power prices appear to be inching up. Six of the 10 regions monitored by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed spot power prices greater than $50/MWh on July 7.
It appears that Hurricane Arthur was less damaging than it could have been to the East Coast. Duke Energy said July 4 that it was restoring power to some customers in the Carolinas who lower power as a result of the storm. The Entergy Indian Point 2 nuclear station in New York reported to NRC July 3 that the hurricane passed within 500 nautical miles of the station.