Dominion: Decision on a new North Anna nuke reactor years away
Dominion Energy recently secured a joint construction and operating license (COL) for a new nuclear reactor, but the utility says a decision on whether or not to move forward with the project is years in the future, according to Fredericksburg.com.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission recently authorized a COL for a third reactor at Dominion’s North Anna nuclear plant near Mineral Spring, Va.
Dominion says the COL provides it with “a valuable option,” but the company has not made a definitive decision on proceeding with the project.
Nuclear projects are expensive, often more expensive than originally envisioned. The only two new nuclear projects to be started in 30 years, Georgia Power’s Vogtle project in Georgia and SCANA’s V.C. Summer project in South Carolina, are now mired in the complications of the bankruptcy of Westinghouse Electric, the contractor and main builder of the project.
Construction on both projects continues under interim agreements, though Georgia Power just recently announced an agreement with Westinghouse's parent company Toshiba to guarantee $3.68 billion in loans.
Dominion began looking at adding a third reactor at North Anna at least a decade ago when the prospects for nuclear power looked much brighter. Since then, many things have changed, including the policies regarding carbon dioxide emission reductions.
“We need to have more certainty over what the public policy and regulatory environment will look like in the future before we make a decision” about adding another reactor to North Anna, Daniel Stoddard, Dominion’s chief nuclear officer, told Fredericksburg.com. He said Dominion is unlikely to make a decision on the third reactor until the early 2020s.
Dominion is also evaluating other options for modernizing the North Anna site. If Dominion does pursue the third reactor option, its earliest online date would be 2029.
- Fredericksburg.com Dominion Energy undecided on plans for third reactor at Lake Anna
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