Dominion Energy has paused development of a new reactor at its North Anna nuclear plant in Virginia, Southeast Energy News reports.
Dominion secured a combined operating and construction license (COL) for a third reactor at North Anna from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in June.
- Dominion would still need a certificate of need from Virginia’s State Corporation Commission to move forward with the project, but the climate for such an approval could be more difficult in the wake of the bankruptcy of nuclear contractor Westinghouse Electric and the decision by SCANA and South Carolina Electric & Gas to abandon their V.C. Summer nuclear project.
Having a COL can be seen as an option against rising natural gas and power prices. But in the current environment the value of a nuclear COL has been put in jeopardy by the massive cost overruns and delays of the Summer project and Southern Co.’s Vogtle project in Georgia, which have now been compounded by Westinghouse’s bankruptcy.
But options come at a cost. Dominion has spent about $600 million in its pursuit of a third reactor at North Anna, spokesperson Richard Zuercher told Utility Dive in June.
Duke told Southeast Energy News it has not yet decided whether or not it will ask regulators for permission to recoup those costs through customers’ bills.
Dominion is not the only utility to revise its nuclear plans in the wake of the Vogtle and Summer woes. Duke Energy late last month asked regulators in North Carolina for permission to cancel its Lee nuclear project. And in Florida, Duke revised a settlement agreement that includes cancellation of its proposed Levy nuclear project.