This just in from the Richmond Times Dispatch:
Dominion Virginia Power officially asked the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for permission to restart its two North Anna Power Station nuclear reactors as soon as it completes a series of 18 inspections, tests, and procedure and equipment modifications at the Louisa County plant.
The utility made the request to the NRC in a letter dated Saturday. Dominion Virginia Power released the document Monday.
Once those near-term activities are done, “we will have demonstrated that no functional damage has occurred to those features necessary for continued operation (of the reactors) without undue risk to the health and safety of the public,” said Eugene S. Grecheck, the company’s vice president for nuclear development.
Dominion Virginia Power anticipates it will finish the near-term actions by the end of the month.
The NRC staff members indicated earlier this month that making sure the reactors are safe to begin operating again might take longer than Dominion Virginia Power’s estimates.
Based on results then, Dominion Virginia Power said it thought all tests and repairs would be completed on Unit 1 by Thursday, while Unit 2 could be restarted by Oct. 13 after a planned refueling outage.
I’m always suspicious when requests like this are submitted over the weekend. Seems like an attempt to limit press coverage.
Something else that didn’t seem right in the article:
On Aug. 23, North Anna’s Units 1 and 2 tripped offline when a magnitude-5.8 earthquake occurred about 11 miles from the power station.
No U.S. nuclear power plant had been tripped offline by an earthquake before, the NRC said.
I’m going to have to look through NRC records and see if that claim is true.
Here’s a link to the Times Dispatch report: http://www2.timesdispatch.com/business/2011/sep/20/tdbiz03-dominion-wants-to-restart-reactors-soon-ar-1322192/