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Heat Sends U.S. Nuclear Power Production to 9-Year Low via Bloomberg Business News

Nuclear-power production in the U.S. is at the lowest seasonal levels in nine years as drought and heat force reactors from Ohio to Vermont to slow output.

Generation for the 104 plants in the U.S. fell 0.4 percent from yesterday to 94,171 megawatts, or 93 percent of capacity, the lowest level for this time of year since 2003, according to reports from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and data compiled by Bloomberg. The total is down 2.6 percent from the five-year average for today of 96,725 megawatts.

High Temperatures

Temperatures will rise about 3 degrees above normal in the U.S. Northeast from Aug. 4 to Aug. 8 and computer modeling shows another heat wave may arrive the week of Aug. 6, according to Commodity Weather Group President Matt Rogers.

“Heat is the main issue, because if the river is getting warmer the water going into the plant is warmer and makes it harder to cool,” David McIntyre, an NRC spokesman, said.

Production at FirstEnergy’s 1,261-megawatt Perry 1 reactor dropped by 63 megawatts early today in preparation for high temperatures and humidity, according to Todd Schneider, a company spokesman in Akron, Ohio.

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  1. yukimiyamotodepaul says

    I’d acknowledged that the nuclear power plants need water to cool down their reactors, and in turn, release warm water back into the river or ocean. But what I did not know was that the temperatures of the water could be too high to use for cooling down—the consequence of a vicious cycle!

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