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Nuclear update: Plant availability slips with Watts Bar 2 outage

Total U.S. nuclear plant availability eased early July15 to 95.03%, slipping from 95.29% on July 14 and still holding below the96.13% reported on the same day last year.

Pulling total availability lower was the loss of 'sWatts Bar 2 unit in Tennessee.

"The reactor was intentionally tripped offlinealong with the turbine yesterday as part of our power ascension testingprogram," Scott Brooks from TVA's public relations office said in a July15 email.

The test, Brooks said, "helped validate thatsystems are operating as designed, including the automatic start of ouremergency diesel generators."

Brooks said that TVA is reviewing data from the test,and that the unit is expected to be brought back online in the near future tocontinue the testing program. However, no date was given on when the unit willreturn.

Prior to being taken offline the reactor was operatingat 30% power July 14.

On the other hand, offsetting the loss was 'sDonald C. Cook 2 plant in Michigan which returned to full power early July 15,rising from 90% on July 14.

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.