Entergy Corporation’s 685MW Pilgrim nuclear power station in the US state of Massachusetts has exited a refueling outage and increased its production up to 50% of capacity.

This increase is up from 15% power on 19 May, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said.

The unit was shut on 17 April 2009 and the unit is on a 24-month refueling cycle.

The Pilgrim station is situated in Plymouth county, about 40 miles south of Boston and entered service in 1972.

One MW powers about 1,000 homes in Massachusetts.

Entergy filed for a 20-year extension of Pilgrim’s original 40-year operating licence in January 2006.

NRC usually takes around 22 months to decide on a licence renewal without a hearing and about 30 months with a hearing.

The company is still waiting for the NRC’s decision on the licence renewal after the agency granted a hearing in 2007 on a contention by a group called Pilgrim Watch over the monitoring of radioactive leakage of buried pipes and tanks at the station.