Fall outages down to lowest level in years

The number of refuelling outages this fall at nuclear power plants in the United States is expected to be the lowest it’s been in years. Analysts point to the closure of four nuclear reactors in 2013 is due to pressure from high operating and maintenance costs and low revenues amid cheap electricity prices. At its peak, about 14,000 MW of nuclear capacity is expected to go offline for refuelling and maintenance – only a little more than half of the total wattage that went offline for refuelling last year. Analysts closely watch nuclear refuelling outages, as the capacity unfilled by offline nuclear plants is generally picked up by gas-fired facilities.

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