Use of capacity factor in the nuclear debate

Netschert, Bruce C.
October 1975
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists;Oct1975, Vol. 31 Issue 8, p42
The article features the use of capacity factor in the nuclear energy debate. The 1973 Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) data for 26 units show an average capacity factor of only 57.3%. The 1974 data through June for the same 26 units plus two more added during 1973 show an average capacity factor of 50.5%. According to the AEC, large light water reactors require about three to four years as a break-in period, after which capacity factors should approximate the design objective of 80%. David Dinsmore Comey contended that the capacity factor experience can be explained by carry over of construction-related quality assurance problems and insufficient development of operating procedures during the first three years.


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