Dominion seeks new nuclear licenses
Utility looking to run Louisa reactors for 20 more years
Dominion Energy said Monday that it will seek a 20-year renewal of its license to operate its North Anna nuclear power plant in Louisa County. Dominion notified the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission of its intent to file the license renewal application in 2020.
The company expects to file a similar application for the Surry Power Station in 2019.
Together, the four reactors at North Anna and Surry provide about 41 percent of all the electricity consumed by Dominion’s electric customers in Virginia. Surry’s two units began service in 1972 and 1973. North Anna’s reactors began service in 1978 and 1980. They were initially licensed to operate for 40 years but were renewed for an additional 20 years in 2003.
If the latest license renewal is approved, the licenses for the four units will run until 2058, 2060, 2052 and 2053. Dominion expects to spend up to $4 billion on upgrades at the facilities as part of the relicensing process. Earlier this year, the General Assembly authorized the company to recoup those expenses from customers.
“The planned relicensing of North Anna and Surry ensures that the benefits of these clean energy sources will continue to provide affordable, reliable, carbon-free electricity to our customers through the middle of the century,” said Daniel G. Stoddard, chief nuclear officer for Dominion’s nuclear generation division. “Our nuclear power stations have proven to be among the most efficient and most reliable sources of electricity in our fleet.”
The company has suspended plans to build a third reactor at North Anna. That decision to hit pause, after Dominion had spent hundreds of million dollars pursuing a license for the third reactor, was in response to uncertainty over federal and state carbon regulation, the company says.
At the same time, highprofile cost overruns at nuclear projects in Georgia and South Carolina have illustrated the challenge facing developers of new nuclear facilities.