EIA anticipates nuclear capacity growth, despite planned plant retirements

EIA anticipates nuclear capacity growth, despite planned plant retirements. | Courtesy of the EIA
The U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) reported on Monday that nuclear capacity is anticipated to increase by 2020 despite planned closures of nuclear power plants.

The EIA said that five nuclear plants are currently under construction in the U.S., which is expected to add approximately 5,618 megawatts of additional electricity generating capacity. These include the Watts Bar Unit 2 in Tennessee, two units each at the Vogtle Nuclear Plant in Georgia and the Virgil C. Summer Plant in South Carolina.

Entergy Corp. said on Monday that the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant will be shut down by early 2017, due to economic conditions. Prior to this announcement, the EIA had reported that there was an expected retirement of 2,125 megawatts of generating capacity with closures of the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station and the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station. With the FitzPatrick plant closure announcement, an additional 838 megawatts of capacity will be retired, bringing the total anticipated retired capacity to 2,963 through 2020.

The EIA reports that four nuclear plants have been shut down over the past four years, which resulted in capacity reduction of approximately 6,000 megawatts of generation capacity. Currently, 30 states have at least one nuclear reactor facility.

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