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Nuclear update: Total output drops below 84% with 4 fresh outages

Totalnuclear power plant availability across the U.S. took a big step lower to startthe month of October amid four outages and two huge curtailments at plantsacross the country.

Totalplant availability early Oct. 3 was pegged at 83.83%, down from 88.01% on Sept.30 and below the 85.71% reported for the same day last year.

Asexpected, Tennessee ValleyAuthority's Browns Ferry 1 in Alabama, 's Farley 1 in Georgia andNextEra Energy Inc.'sDuane Arnold plant in Iowa were all taken offline for scheduled refuelingoutages with Duane Arnold still at 8% early Oct. 3.

Leadingup to its planned outage, Farley 1 automatically tripped shut early Oct. 1 dueto the inadvertent closure of a main steam isolation valve, which caused aturbine trip resulting in an automatic reactor trip, according to a filed with the U.S.Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Inaddition to the three regularly scheduled outages, shut its Susquehanna2 reactor in Pennsylvania for unknown reasons. The plant was operating at fullpower on Sept. 30 but was cut to 15% by early Oct. 1.

Twoother units saw big drops in production. According to NRC data, NextEra'sTurkey Point 4 in Florida was operating at 48% power early Oct. 3 whileAmerican Electric Power Co.Inc.'s Donald C. Cook unit 2 in Michigan was operating at 55%power, each down from full capacity on Sept. 30.

Helpingto partially offset the drop in U.S. production were Xcel Energy Inc.'s Monticello plant and 's Perry plant inOhio, which were returned to full power. On Sept. 30, Monticello was pegged at58% power and Perry was at 89% power.

For details of U.S. nuclearpower plant operations, visit our Nuclear Status and Output Page.