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U.S. nuclear power reactors operated at record 91.9% capacity

Staff writer ▼ | January 21, 2016
U.S. nuclear energy facilities generated electricity at a record high level of reliability in 2015.
U.S. nuclear plant
Energy sources   According to the Nuclear Energy Institute
This is according to preliminary estimates. Ninety-nine nuclear power plants operating in 30 states posted an estimated average capacity factor of 91.9 percent, based on preliminary 2015 data compiled by the Nuclear Energy Institute.

That surpasses the industry's prior record set in 2007 by one-tenth of a percentage point. Capacity factor measures the total electricity generated as a percentage of potential generation for the entire year.

Actual electricity production from nuclear energy facilities last year was the fifth-highest ever, at an estimated 797.9 billion kilowatt-hours (kwh).

The industry's record high electricity generation came in 2010, when the 104 reactors then operating produced 806.9 billion kwh of electricity while posting an industry average capacity factor of 90.9 percent.

The amount of electricity generated in 2015 exceeded the amount produced in 2014, even though one less plant operated due to the 2014 closing of Vermont Yankee.