Uptick in US Nuclear Capacity Expected Despite Recent and Upcoming Closures

 Uptick in US Nuclear Capacity Expected Despite Recent and Upcoming Closures

A net increase in total U.S. nuclear capacity is expected despite more than 2,000 MW of capacity slated to close by 2019.

Scheduled additions of 5,618 MW of capacity between 2016 and 2020 could boost U.S. nuclear capacity, according to numbers from the U.S. Energy Information Association (EIA). The additions are the 1,150-MW Watts Bar 2 in Tennessee, expected to begin operations in 2016, and four reactors being built at Plant Vogtle in Georgia and V.C. Summer in South Carolina, both scheduled for completion by 2020.

EIA’s analysis was released before Entergy announced it would shut down the 843-MW FitzPatrick nuclear power plant in New York by 2017. The numbers did include the closure of the 685-MW Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Massachusetts, which is set to shut down by 2019 at the latest.

Exelon has said it would close down the 678-MW Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station in New Jersey in 2019.

The largest nuclear plant in the U.S. is the three-unit, 3,937-MW Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station in Arizona. The smallest is the single-unit, 479-MW Fort Calhoun plant in Nebraska.

Thirty states have nuclear power plants, with most located east of the Mississippi River. Illinois is home to the most nuclear plants followed by Pennsylvania. In the past four years, four nuclear plants have shut down, accounting for 6,000 MW of capacity.

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