Get this tabber widget

Nuclear Power, Outages, And Gas Substitution

In the United States, nuclear power supplies 101 Gigawatts, sufficient to power 83 DeLorean Time Machines or approximately 19% of the nation’s energy needs. The US is the largest supplier of commercial nuclear power in the world. 100 commercial reactors are currently under operation at 65 different facilities. Construction began at all sites before the 1979 Three-Mile Island incident, although new reactors have come online since. Because it is difficult to rapidly ramp up or turn down a reactor, nuclear power plants supply the “base load” of US electrical demand while peak demand, during heatwaves and their associated spike in cooling demand, is handled by coal- and gas-powered plants. However, like most electrical generators, nuclear reactors must be routinely maintained and refueled every 18-24 months, requiring a shutdown of the reactor. While a reactor can be refueled in as little as 10 days, operators typically schedule non-critical maintenance during refueling periods, meaning that the average down-time is closer to 2 months. Such shutdowns usually occur during the demand-minimum (“the Shoulder Season”) during the spring and fall when as much as 25% of US nuclear capacity may be offline at any given time. It usually falls to natural gas to make up for the lost electricity generation. A general rule of thumb is that for every 2000 megawatts that goes offline, 500 mmcf of natural gas per day must be burned to generate the same quantity of electrical power. Because of the long-term nature of nuclear reactor downtime, major deviations from historical averages in the status of nuclear power plants can add up and significantly impact natural gas demand, particularly during the otherwise anemic shoulder season. All data presented here is courtesy of the Nuclear Regulator Commission (NRC), with additional information available at its website HERE. All data, maps, and graphs are updated daily between 5am EDT and 7am EDT.

Additional Information

Disclaimer: Natural Gas Storage Projections, Intraday Natural Gas Stats, Morning Reports, and fundamental pricing models are released by Powerburn as experimental products. While they are intended to provide accurate, up-to-date data, they should not be used alone in making investment decisions, or decisions of any kind. Powerburn does not make an express or implied warranty of any kind regarding the data information including, without limitation, any warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose or use.

No comments:

Post a Comment