North Anna partner drops out of expansion

The Free Lance-Star (VA) reported today:

Though Dominion power says its plans won’t change, one of its partners says it won’t participate in the development or ownership of a third nuclear reactor at North Anna Power Station.

“While we consider nuclear generation an important part of our diversified portfolio of energy resources our board of directors and senior management have determined that participating in this proposed nuclear project does not fit with our long-term plans,” Jackson E. Reasor, president and chief executive officer of Old Dominion Electric Cooperative, said yesterday.

 This announcement comes after Dominion had announced a slowdown in the project. Dominion chairman Thomas Farrell told investors last fall:

“We have concluded that the capital required for other new generation, pending environmental compliance and electric transmission upgrades, requires us to slow the deployment of [Unit 3].”

 The application for North Anna was amended last year, changing reactor types:

 …late in the permit process, Dominion switched to an alternate design for the planned reactor. Last May, it selected Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ advanced pressurized water reactor. Initially, it chose an advanced boiling water reactor, designed by GE Hitachi.

 The Free Lance-Star listed a number of obstacles to the project’s completion:

 Spiraling projected costs for the new generation of advanced reactors, combined with questions over federal loan guarantees, and lower cost fuel alternatives such as natural gas, are potential hurdles for the industry.

Those concerns were echoed by an opponent of the expansion:

 Jerry Rosenthal, a Louisa County resident and member of People’s Alliance for Clean Energy, which opposes Unit 3, said ODEC’s decision doesn’t bode well for Unit 3.

“I think [ODEC] did the right thing for its members. Everybody wants to know: what is the cost of this thing? That, and there are so many better alternatives. Right now, natural gas [prices] are low and they’re going to stay low.”



About Robert Singleton

By day, I work for a call center. In my spare time, I try to save my hometown (and planet) from a nearly constant onslaught of greedheads, lunatics and land developers. I live in a fictional town called Austin, Texas, where I go to way too many meetings.
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