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Nuclear update: 2 new outages take plant availability to below 85%

Total U.S. nuclear plant availability dipped earlyMarch 29 to 84.82%, down from 85.90% on March 28 and also below the 85.18%recorded on the same day a year ago.

Driving total plant availability lower was theunexpected loss of EnergyNorthwest's Columbia Generating Station in Washington. The unit wasmanually shut late March 28 following the loss of reactor closed cooling, orRCC, according to filing with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Prior tobeing shut, the plant was operating at 100% power.

As expected, NextEraEnergy Inc.'s Turkey Point 4 in Florida was taken offline earlyMarch 29 for what private sources indicate will be planned seasonal work. Thereactor was pegged at 100% power on March 28.

Working to offset the loss of the two units wasincreased production at a handful of other reactors across the country.

DukeEnergy Corp.'s Oconee 1 in South Carolina was seen warming up at19% early March 29. The unit recently restarted after being tripped offline onMarch 6.

TennesseeValley Authority's Browns Ferry 1 in Alabama bounced back to fullpower early March 29, up from 82% the day prior.

SouthernCo.'s Vogtle 2 in Georgia saw output increase to 42% early March29, up from the 22% power level on March 28.

Production at EntergyCorp.'s Grand Gulf 1 unit in Mississippi moved higher as well. Thereactor was eyed at 30% early March 29, up from 12% on March 28.

Power production levels and impending outage dates arecurrent at the time of publication and are subject to change. For details ofU.S. nuclear power plant operations, visit our NuclearStatus and Outage Report.