US nuclear plants enjoyed a record production year in 2000, with average capacity factor reaching an estimated 90%, according to Christian Poindexter, the chairman, president and CEO of Constellation Energy and the chairman of the Nuclear Energy Institute.
Poindexter also predicted that the figures for 2000 will show that: •US nuclear energy output topped 1999’s production record of 728 TWh by 5%.
•US nuclear plants achieved record safety performance.
•Nuclear production costs (fuel and O&M) declined to 1.83c/kWh, the lowest for all of the large fuel sources in the USA.
He also said that the energy crisis that is currently gripping California and other parts of the USA is creating significant marketing opportunities for low-cost nuclear power. The changing conditions are fostering “a high level of confidence” that construction of new nuclear plants will begin later in this decade.