Uprates can increase U.S. nuclear capacity substantially without building new reactors
The electrical output of the existing nuclear power plant fleet can be increased by constructing new plants or "uprating" operating plants. Uprating generally involves physically modifying the plant to increase its generating capacity. At the national level, more than 6,500 megawatts (electric) of nuclear uprates have been approved as of July 10, 2012, and most of these have already been implemented. These approved uprates are roughly the equivalent of constructing six new nuclear power plants.