Do­min­ion seeks new nu­clear licenses

Util­ity look­ing to run Louisa re­ac­tors for 20 more years

Richmond Times-Dispatch - - BUSINESS - BY ROBERT ZULLO rzullo@times­dis­ (804) 649-6453 Twit­ter: @rczullo

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.

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