Monday, February 16, 2015

Nuclear Power Plant Performance 2014:

Maintaining High Levels

One recent bright spot was the announcement by the Nuclear Energy Institute that the performance by the U.S. nuclear power industry in 2014 was the highest ever.  In particular, the average estimated capacity factor for 2014 was 91.9 percent – the highest capacity factor achieved by the U.S. nuclear industry in any year.

The second highest capacity factor in a year was 91.8 percent in 2007.  Now, one can argue that this isn't a statistically significant improvement.  However, what this does tell us is that U.S. nuclear power plants are continuing to operate at very high levels of performance, probably about the highest that can realistically be achieved.  And they are doing this in an environment where there are a lot of negative pressures, both economic and other, that are affecting operating nuclear power plants.

I therefore take the news as a positive indication.


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