U.S. Nuclear Electricity Generation at Record Level in 2007
The U.S. nuclear industry supplied a record 806.5 billion kilowatt hours (kwh) of electricity in 2007.
National total nuclear generation was 2.4 percent higher than in 2006, and 2.3 percent higher than in the previous record year, 2004, according to preliminary Energy Information Administration (EIA) data.
The largest increase came in Tennessee, with 4 billion kwh more nuclear-provided electricity in 2007 than in 2006, an increase of 16 percent, according to the EIA.
The capacity factor (the amount of power actually generated compared with the maximum amount that could be generated) for 2007 was 91.8 percent, exceeding the previous record capacity factor of 90.3 percent in 2002.
The total number of operating commercial nuclear reactors in the U.S. increased from 103 to 104 in 2007 with the return to service of the Brown’s Ferry 1 reactor, which had been shut down in 1985.
The total number of operating U.S. commercial reactors remains well below the peak level of 112 in 1990, according to the EIA. However, nuclear power generation in 2007 was 40 percent above the 577 billion kwh produced in 1990, largely reflecting a major improvement in utilization rates.