A recent report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed that 9 of the 10 highest-generating power plants in the U.S. last year were nuclear. These top 10 power plants generated a combined 230 million MWh in 2019, according to the EIA. That total is nearly 6% of all U.S. electricity generation
The top 10 plants, from the highest generation down, are Palo Verde, Browns Ferry, Peach Bottom South Texas, Oconee, West County Energy Center, Susquehanna, Braidwood, Bryon, and Vogtle. The natural gas-fired West County project is the only non-nuclear plant in the ranking.
Palo Verde, Browns Ferry, and Oconee nuclear power plants have consistently been among the 10 largest generators of electricity in the United States because they are the only nuclear plants with three reactor units, which gives them more generating capacity. A plant’s refueling and maintenance schedules may also affect annual electric power generation capacity. For example, Comanche Peak was one of the top 10 highest-generating power plants in 2010 but was not one in 2019 because scheduled refueling and maintenance reduced plant availability in 2019
The capacity factors for the 9 nuclear power plants in the top 10 range from 89% (Browns Ferry) to 99% (Byron and Peach Bottom). The natural gas plant among the top 10 had a capacity factor of 65%.