Nuclear generating capacity off 27% from same time last year : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread


According to a Reuters survey Friday of nuclear plant operators, total nuclear generating capacity off line for refueling and/or extended maintenance was still up about 27 percent from the same year-ago period.


-- - (, March 06, 2000


Many thanks for winnowing THAT out!


-- Squirrel Hunter (nuts@upina.cellrelaytower), March 06, 2000.

Uh, I guess someone less calculationally challenged should point out that what was snipped is NOT what the thread title says. Offline capacity up 27% is VERY different from generating capacity OFF 27%.

Let me provide an example simple enough even for xxx. Suppose capacity is at 99%, and drops to 98%. This is a 100% increase in the amount of capacity offline, but a 1% decrease in generating capacity online. Somehow xxx thinks 1% and 100% are the same.

What's interesting is that these simple arithmetic blunders are never random -- they are ALWAYS made in the direction of making things look worse than they are. How about we submit this as Yet Another Exhibit in how we got y2k so very wrong, OK? We sure didn't do it honestly.

-- Flint (, March 06, 2000.

Primarily refueling outages, many plants are on 18 month to two year cycles, so you won't see the same numbers every year.

-- FactFinder (, March 06, 2000.

When a plant shuts down for refueling or planned maintenance, the lost capacity must be purchased from other utilities. It makes sense collectively to schedule these shutdowns as equally as possible throughout the year to prevent brownouts. A couple weeks ago I counted the number of plants down on a given date (2/25) for the listed NRC history which goes back to 1997: 00-maint 7/refuel 6, 99- maint 6/refuel 13, 98-maint 12/refuel 12, 97-maint 9/refuel 18.

The amount of refueling being done so far this year is significantly lower than in the past. My question is is this part of normal variation or is it because some plants know they'd have Y2K control problems on a cold startup?

-- John (, March 06, 2000.

A lot of plants that would have normally undergone various types of maintenance in the last quarter of 99 were "frozen" for Y2K. In other words, nothing but emergency work was done from about mid September until the rollover so as not change anything made compliant with something that might not be compliant. The plan was to take the plants off-line in January through April when demand was low to do the work so that's what you're seeing now. They'll all be up and cranking again for summer.

-- Jim Cooke (, March 07, 2000.

It would be perfectly logical for plant to scheduled for maintenance or refuelling at aproximately equal intervals through out the year. However generation companies are driven by profit, not logic.

Some companies with a good mix of generation plant will deliberately schedule their largest plant outages to co-incide with times that they consider other companies may also have large plant outages. This causes a short term artificial shortage and pushes up the wholesale power price. In turn increasing revenue and profit for the rest of that generators portfolio.

Of course, when I'm on our companies trading desk, I'd never do anything like that... (or would I?)

-- Malcolm Taylor (, March 07, 2000.


Yep. Let's say a company (not any I know, just hypothetical, you see) has one nuke but tons of hydro. Now that electric rates have been deregulated, what happens if you take the nuke offline in the height of summer, thereby causing a temporary shortage. But, you've got hydro that can take up the slack (especially pumped storage that you can use for baseload) and hydro rates are driven up as a result of the shortage. And hydro costs 1.8 cent per MWH compared to 7 cents for the nuke. Not that I've ever seen any of this, of course :^}

-- Jim Cooke (, March 07, 2000.

Have there been any power cuts in those areas (int he US) dependent largely on nuclear generation.

Flint until you know the actual figures you can't make any sort of judgement on the relevance of the %, your example is not valid as its not based on fact.

-- Sir Richard (, March 07, 2000.

Sir Richard:

Sorry if I wasn't clear. xxx made a mathematical error. When I said "suppose" in my illustration, I had thought it would be obvious that I was selecting values intended to illustrate the nature of that error most clearly. The observation of error remains valid, regardless of the numbers used for illustration.

If BOTH current and prior online capacity were below 50%, then this error would have been *optimistic*, I agree. But it's still an error. Since I haven't seen any of the variety of numbers below 50%, the *direction* of the error was pessimistic. And I've seen maybe a dozen such mathematical errors over the last couple years, and ALL of them have been made by doomers, and ALL of them are in the pessimistic direction. My point was that this is not a coincidence, it is dishonest.

-- Flint (, March 07, 2000.

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