Dominion Virginia Power, a unit of Dominion, today became the first U.S utility to notify the Nuclear Regulatory Commission of its intent to file a second license renewal application for one of its nuclear stations. Surry Power Station would be one of the first nuclear stations in the nation to receive a second license extension if Dominion completes the process and the application is approved.
David A. Christian, chief executive officer of the company’s Dominion Generation business unit, made the announcement at a White House symposium on the future of nuclear energy in the United States.
The company is reviewing all technical aspects associated with the renewal, and while not yet complete, sees no significant barriers that would prevent a license renewal submittal in 2019. The letter of intent is necessary so the NRC can plan its staffing needs to support the license renewal effort. Moving forward with the license renewal application will require the approval of the company’s board of directors.
“Renewing Surry Power Station’s licenses for a second 20-year period is good news for our customers, the regional economy and the environment,” Christian said. “Our customers will benefit by continuing to receive safe, reliable and low-cost electricity from the station through the middle of the century. Our nuclear power stations have proven to be among the most efficient and most reliable sources of electricity in our fleet.
“The operation of Surry also positions Virginia for economic growth. It supports more than 950 high-paying jobs at the station and produces additional economic and tax benefits.
“And, Surry – like the nation’s other 61 nuclear stations – provides the backbone for the nation’s carbon-free power generation. In the case of Surry, it produces 20 percent of the electricity used in Virginia. Its continued operation could assist in meeting and maintaining the state’s goals for lowering carbon emissions.”
Surry Power Station is located in Surry County, Va. Its two nuclear units – both three-loop Westinghouse pressurized water reactors – provide 1,676 net megawatts of electricity or enough power for 419,000 homes. Unit 1 began commercial service in 1972 and Unit 2 began commercial service in 1973.
Like all U.S. nuclear units, the Surry units originally were licensed to operate for 40 years. The units’ licenses were renewed for 20 additional years of operation on March 20, 2003, following a stringent review process authorized under federal law. The Surry nuclear units’ licenses currently expire in 2032 and 2033, but will operate to 2052 and 2053 with renewed licenses.
Dominion is one of the nation’s largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 24,400 megawatts of generation, 12,200 miles of natural gas transmission, gathering and storage pipeline, and 6,490 miles of electric transmission lines. Dominion operates one of the nation’s largest natural gas storage systems with 928 billion cubic feet of storage capacity and serves utility and retail energy customers in 14 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company’s website at www.dom.com.