Do you know how many outages nuclear reactors near here have had? Probably not, because that’s usually not in the news, and you have to dig into day by day NRC reactor status reports to find out. It turns out nuclear power is 0/7 instead of 24/7 on many a day.
Looking at all nine nuclear reactors within 200 miles of here, the graph drips downtime like tears.
The available data on NRC’s website and graphed here goes back to 31 March 2006, through 29 January 2013. Let’s look at each of our closest reactors one by one. Hatch 1 on the Altamaha River, in addition to its recent 40% power on 21 January and 87% on 5 January, has had quite a few outages:
Sometimes Hatch 2 does get in the news for outages, for example 10 August 2007, 11 March 2008, and 22 June 2009. At least it hasn’t caught on fire like the South Texas Nuclear Project, although we don’t know whether Hatch has fixed the generic GE Mark 1 substandard fire protection.
About 125 miles from here, near Dothan, Alabama, Farley 1 shows at least five lengthy outages on the graph, and a bunch of shorter outages and brownouts.
Looks like at least four long outages for Farley 2.
Then there’s Crystal River, only 160 miles to the south of us, still down since 26 September 2009, and with none of Progress, Duke, or Nuclear Electric Insurance Ltd. (NEIL) wanting to pay to fix it. Failed concrete: the bane of nuclear reactors.
The pride of Southern Company’s fleet, Vogtle 1, 200 miles from here on the Savannah River, shows five lengthy outages, one late last year, plus some amusing stairstep brownouts, and a long period in 2007 below full power.
Vogtle 2 shows four lengthy outages and a variety of brownouts.
Let’s not forget the two nukes Georgia Power customers are already paying for without getting any electricity from them. I don’t know when Georgia Power actually started charging for that CWIP rate hike, so I used 22 April 2009, the day after Gov. Perdue signed the authorizing law, SB 31 – Energy Rate Increases to Finance Nuclear Power Plant Construction. You may want to remember who voted for that stealth tax in the legislature. Here’s Vogtle 3 at zero power continuously since 22 April 2009.
Just like Vogtle 3, Vogtle 4 has been at 0% since 22 April 2009, while the pair of them have run up about $1.7 billion in charges to Georgia Power customers so far, and climbing. I don’t know which of those two reactor vessels that is sitting unprotected on the dock at Savannah.
Out of nine reactors within 200 miles of here that customers are paying for, 3 have been down since 2009, and the rest have had frequent brownouts and outages. Not a very good score.