WASHINGTON — The United States nuclear industry had a banner year in 1990, according to a recent report from the US Council for Energy Awareness. Nuclear energy production in 1990 soared nearly 9 percent to 576.8 billion net kilowatt-hours of electricity, from 529.4 billion Kwh in 1989.
Last year, the average capacity factor of US nuclear plants was 66 percent, up from 62.2 percent in 1989. Capacity factor measures the percentage of a power plant's maximum electrical output that is actually produced during a given period.
The nuclear-plant output accounted for 20.6 percent of US electricity production in 1990, second only to coal's contribution.