NEI: Early data show U.S. nuclear plants had record-high reliability in '15

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The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) said this week that reliability ratings at nuclear plants in the U.S. reached record-high levels in 2015.

Preliminary estimates indicate that plants in the U.S. reported an average of 91.9 percent in terms of capacity factor, which is total generated electricity compared with the maximum amount that a reactor can produce.

“The 2015 data confirm yet again what a tremendous asset nuclear energy technology is,” NEI Chief Nuclear Officer Anthony Pietrangelo said. “U.S. nuclear power plants continue to operate at exceptional levels of safety and reliability, while generating affordable electricity that consumers and our economy rely on. This is due to the hard work and dedication of the highly skilled men and women who work at these facilities and the reactor vendors and suppliers who provide support services.”

The NEI said total generation output from the 99 nuclear reactors currently operating in the U.S. in 30 states is estimated at 797.9 billion kilowatt hours. NEI said this is the fifth-highest estimate in history. The highest was recorded in 2010 as 104 reactors generated 806.9 billion kilowatt hours of electricity.

The NEI said finalized numbers are expected to become available within the next two months.

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