Platts Survey: US Reactors Produce Record Power Generation in 2007 as World Nuclear Generation Slumps



    WASHINGTON, March 6 /CNW/ -- Global power generated by nuclear reactors
fell about 3.6% in calendar 2007 from the 2.8 billion megawatt-hours (MWh)
recorded in 2006, according to data released by Nucleonics Week, a publication
of Platts, a leading global provider of energy and commodities information.
    In the otherwise lackluster 2007, US reactors set a record for nuclear
power generation, with output surging to 843 million gross MWh and utilizing
an average 91% of reactor capacity.
    "The 2007 nuclear plant performance means about 20% of US electricity was
once again generated without the carbon emissions that would otherwise
contribute to global warming," said Margaret Ryan, Platts global nuclear
editorial director.
    World performance was led by two US reactors. In terms of output, South
Texas Project's South Texas-1 in Bay City, Texas, generated 12.36 million MWh,
the largest output of any reactor in the world. Of the 15 reactors generating
the most in 2007, three were from the US, eight from Germany and four from
France. In terms of capacity factor, which measures how well a plant performed
against the output level its manufacturer promised, the best worldwide was
Constellation Energy's Calvert Cliffs-1, south of Annapolis, Maryland, which
actually exceeded its rated capacity level all year. Of the top 15 best
performing reactors in 2007 measured by capacity, 11 were from the US and four
were from Japan.
    The slowdown in world nuclear power generation was in large part
attributable to developments ranging from an earthquake in Japan to persistent
aging of facilities in the UK to unplanned outages in Germany. Elsewhere,
nuclear generation sustained good performance or went up or down by smaller
amounts.
    In terms of world nuclear power plant generating capacity, the median
utilization rate was 84.2% with the top quarter of units all performing above
91.5%. This suggests many reactors performed very well during 2007. But with a
total nominal operating capacity of 395 gross gigawatts, the 439 nuclear units
worldwide could, if they had operated at an average 85% capacity factor, have
generated some 400 million more MWh to meet growing world electricity demand
than they did in 2007. That amount would supply the entire United States,
which uses more electricity than any other country in the world, for 40
average days.

    Outlook

    The year 2007 began inauspiciously for nuclear power, with the closure of
seven units on the last day of 2006. The shutdowns of Bulgaria's Kozloduy-3
and -4, Slovakia's Bohunice-1, and the UK's Dungeness A-1 and -2 and Sizewell
A-1 and -2 removed 2,540 gross MW from the electricity grid.
    Only four reactor units were added to world's operating nuclear fleets in
2007: India's Nuclear Power Corporation brought the 220-MW Kaiga-3 into
service, the 1,000-MW Tianwan-2 VVER was started up in China, and Romania
commissioned the 706-MW Cernavoda-2 Candu unit. In the US, the Tennessee
Valley Authority brought the 1,155-MW Browns Ferry-1 back into service after
22 years of shutdown. That brought the total MW added to just less than 3,100
MW.
    But 2007 brought the most construction starts of nuclear power reactors
in recent years, with work on five units officially launched. Construction of
the 650-MW Qinshan II-4 and the 1,000-MW Hongyanhe-1 in China, the 1,000-MW
Shin Kori-2 and Shin Wolsong-1 in South Korea, and the 1,650-MW Flamanville-3
in France all got under way. In 2006 there were construction starts on four
units, three in 2005 and just two in 2004, according to International Atomic
Energy Agency records.

    About Platts:

    Platts, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE:   MHP), is a leading
global provider of energy and commodities information. With nearly a century
of business experience, Platts serves customers across more than 150
countries. An independent provider, Platts serves the oil, natural gas,
electricity, emissions, nuclear power, coal, petrochemical, shipping, and
metals markets from 14 offices worldwide. Platts' real-time news, pricing,
analytical services and conferences help markets operate with transparency and
efficiency. Traders, risk managers, analysts, and industry leaders depend upon
Platts to help them make better trading and investment decisions. Additional
information is available at http://www.platts.com.

    About The McGraw-Hill Companies:

    Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE:    MHP) is a leading
global information services provider meeting worldwide needs in the financial
services, education and business information markets through leading brands
such as Standard & Poor's, McGraw-Hill Education, BusinessWeek and J.D. Power
and Associates. The Corporation has more than 280 offices in 40 countries.
Sales in 2007 were $6.8 billion. Additional information is available at
http://www.mcgraw-hill.com.





For further information:

For further information: Kathleen Tanzy, (212) 904-2860; or Europe:
Shiona Ramage, +44207-1766153; or Asia: Casey Yew, +65-653-06552, all for
Platts Web Site: http://www.platts.com; http://www.mcgraw-hill.com

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