The amazing capacity of nuclear

May 28, 2021, 7:00AMANS News

Craig Piercy

Historically, we have used the May issue of Nuclear News to analyze capacity factor data for U.S. nuclear plants. Once again, the topline story is the continuation of a 20-year period of outstanding operational performance. In 2020, the U.S. nuclear fleet generated about 789.9 TWh of electricity, surpassing coal to become the second-largest source of electricity in the nation. Overall, the fleet recorded a median three-year capacity factor of 91.33, besting the three-year median of 91.20 published just last year. With some of our most venerable plants among the top performers, it’s no wonder that several utilities are investing now to ensure their plants can generate clean energy into their eighth decade or beyond.

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