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Nuclear update: Total US plant availability near 4-month high

Total U.S. nuclear plant availability ramped to 95.84% by early Dec. 28, up from 95.75% on Dec. 27, to its highest point since Aug. 31. However, the total U.S. plant capacity factor still stands below the 98.09% reported on the same day a year ago.

Helping to support plant availability was the full return of Energy Northwest's Columbia Generating Station in Washington State. The reactor was restarted Dec. 25 and had reached 90% by Dec. 27 after being scrammed shut Dec. 18 in response to a load reject from the Bonneville Power Administration's Ashe substation.

Otherwise, only three of the country's 99 active commercial nuclear reactors remain offline, including Tennessee Valley Authority's Sequoyah 1 in Tennessee, American Electric Power Co. Inc.'s D.C. Cook 2 in Michigan and Entergy Corp.'s Grand Gulf 1 in Mississippi. Sequoyah 1 and Cook 2 are refueling, having been shut Nov. 25 and Oct. 5, respectively, while Grand Gulf was forced offline Sept. 8 due to the loss of a pump.

Entergy's FitzPatrick plant in New York remains unchanged at 58% power. The reactor has held near 60% for more than a month ahead of a refueling outage scheduled to begin in mid- to late January 2017.

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