- Dominion Energy announced it intends to relicense two units at the North Anna Power Station in Louisa County, Va. for an additional two years. If approved, the units would be 80 years old when the license expires.
- The announcement comes on the heels of the company putting on hold expansion plans at the facility after the company secured a combined operating and construction license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
- Despite that, Dominion is embracing nuclear power in the state. In 2015, the company informed nuclear regulators it would file a similar application for license renewals for its two Surry Power Station in Virginia, in 2019.
Dominion officials are pursuing new licenses for four nuclear units in Virginia they say are among their fleet's most efficiency and reliable resources.
"Renewing North Anna Power Station's licenses for a second 20-year period is the right thing to do for our customers, the regional economy and the environment," Daniel Stoddard, Dominion chief nuclear officer, said in a statement.
Stoddard said the renewed licenses would bring clean and inexpensive energy to Virginia "through the middle of the century."
North Anna has two units, both three-loop Westinghouse pressurized water reactors, that provide a total of 1,892 MW. Units 1 and 2 have been in service since 1978 and 1980, respectively. Surry provides 1,676 MW from two units that began service in 1972 and 1973.
Dominion said it anticipates investment up to $4 billion on upgrades to North Anna and Surry as part of the relicensing process. The company expects to file the North Anna application in 2020, a year after the Surry renewal application. North Anna and Surry units were originally licensed to operate for 40 years, and all four units have already received one 20-year license approval.
Dominion said the North Anna and Surry nuclear units' respective licenses currently will expire in 2038 and 2040, and 2032 and 2033. After renewal, the company expects respective licenses for North Anna and Surry will allow the units to operate to 2058 and 2060, and 2052 and 2053.
Dominion's move diverges from other utilities shelving plans for new nuclear build following the Westinghouse Electric Co. surprise bankruptcy that resulted in utilities abandoning a South Carolina nuclear expansion. The only other nuclear plant under construction in the nation is facing a series of hearings over its fate as well.