Nuclear reactor Vogtle 1 at August shut down

Nuclear really more reliable than wind or solar? What’s with the unscheduled shutdowns?

Colin McClelland reported for Bloomberg 21 April 2011, U.S. Nuclear Output Falls as Vogtle Reactor in Georgia Shuts

U.S. nuclear-power output remained near a 4½-year low for a fourth day as the Vogtle 1 reactor in Georgia shut down unexpectedly, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said.

Power generation nationwide decreased 538 megawatts to 71,781 megawatts from yesterday, or 71 percent of capacity, the smallest amount since Oct. 22, 2006, according to an NRC report today and data compiled by Bloomberg. Twenty-nine of the nation’s 104 reactors were offline.

Southern Co. (SO)’s 1,109-megawatt Vogtle 1 reactor automatically tripped offline yesterday at 5:34 p.m. when it was at full power. The cause is under investigation, the NRC said.

The shutdown was ironically two days after an NRC public meeting “to discuss Plant Vogtle’s annual safety evaluation and assessment.”

That would be the same location where, according to Tice Brashear back in 18 March 2009:

Plant Vogtle has passed most of its state regulatory hurdles needed to begin construction of two new reactors in Burke County, Georgia. The state utility regulators have already passed their blessing on the project. In addition, the Georgia Public Service Commission has approved an increase in of 9% in billing to current Georgia Power customers.

What’s the other reactor offline? That’s two other ones; three total, according to Bloomberg:

Progress Energy Inc. (PGN) started the 937-megawatt Brunswick 2 unit in North Carolina after shutting it April 19. It is operating at 22 percent of capacity. The 938-megawatt Brunswick 1 is operating at full power at the Cape Fear site 130 miles south of Raleigh.

Constellation Nuclear Energy Group LLC, a joint venture of Constellation Energy Group Inc. (CEG) and Electricite de France SA, boosted output at its 621-megawatt Nine Mile Point Unit 1 to full power from 34 percent of capacity yesterday.

The reactor is about 6 miles northeast of Oswego, New York, and was shut for refueling on March 21.

Unscheduled shutdowns, and costs the people more to build. Remind me what the big advantage is of nuclear over solar or wind?