Virginia, USA-based Dominion Energy has filed an application with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to renew North Anna Power Station's operating licences for an additional 20-year term. Dominion says approval would mean its customers continue to receive safe, reliable, affordable and carbon-free electricity from the plant until 2060.

North Anna (Image: Dominion Energy)

Dominion Energy's filing for North Anna, located in Louisa County, makes it the second nuclear power plant in Virginia to seek a second renewal of its licences, beyond the original 40-year terms that were granted in 1978 and 1980, and the extension granted in 2003. Dominion Energy filed a similar application to renew the licences of the two Surry Power Station units in Surry County in 2018. The NRC is currently reviewing that application.

Dan Stoddard, Dominion Energy's chief nuclear officer, said: "Renewing the licences for both of our nuclear units in Virginia is critical to the company meeting the Virginia Clean Economy Act's requirements for zero-carbon electricity by 2045 as well as the company's net zero by 2050 commitment. It also positions Virginia for continued economic growth and will help Virginia remain a leader in the production of clean energy among other states in the mid-Atlantic and South. It supports more than 900 high-paying jobs at the station and produces additional economic and tax benefits."

Like all US nuclear units, the North Anna units were originally licensed to operate for 40 years. The units' licences were renewed for 20 additional years of operation on 20 March 2003, following a stringent review process authorised under federal law. Under its current licences, North Anna units 1 and 2 can continue to operate through 2038 and 2040, respectively, and with renewed licences to 2058 and 2060.

The North Anna units are three-loop Westinghouse pressurised water reactors that are capable of providing 1892 MWe (net), or about 20% of the electricity Dominion’s customers receive.

Together, Surry and North Anna produce 31% of the electricity for the company's 2.5 million customers and 95% of the carbon-free electricity in the state.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News

Date: Tuesday, 08 September 2020
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