reactor would cost $19 billion.
The NRC had found no safety concerns
but the agency imposed some restrictions,
including mitigation strategies related
to the 2011 meltdown at the Fukushima
reactors in Japan after an earthquake and
tsunami. Mineral, Virginia experienced a
5.8-magnitude earthquake in 2011.
Approximately 40 percent of Virginia’s
electrical power is generated at Dominion’s
nuclear reactors and North Anna and
Three Mile Island to
Shut Down in 2019
The owner of Three Mile Island, site
of the United States’ worst commercial
nuclear power accident, said it will shut
down the plant in 2019 without a financial
rescue from Pennsylvania.
Exelon Corp.’s announcement comes
after what it called more than five years of
losses on the single-unit power plant and
its recent failure in a capacity auction to
sell its power into the regional grid.
In the meantime, the Chicago-based
energy company wants Pennsylvania to
give nuclear power the kind of preferential
treatment that are given to renewable
energies, such as wind and solar.
Exelon and other nuclear power plant
owners have made the pitch to states that
zero-carbon nuclear plants are better
suited than natural gas or coal to fight
So-called nuclear bailouts have thus far
won approval in Illinois and New York,
but the potential for higher utility bills in
Pennsylvania is drawing pushback from
rival energy companies, manufacturers
and consumer advocates.
“Like New York and Illinois before it,
the commonwealth has an opportunity
to take a leadership role by implementing
a policy solution to preserve its nuclear
energy facilities and the clean, reliable
energy and good-paying jobs they
provide,” Exelon’s president and CEO,
Chris Crane, said in a statement.
construction projects exploded in the
early 1970s, additions slowed by the latter
part of the decade due to slowing electric
demand growth, high construction
costs and public opposition. From 1979
through 1988, 67 planned nuclear plants
However, due to lengthy permitting
and construction times, plants planned
in the 1970s continued to come online
through the early 1990s.
EIA said the oldest operating nuclear
reactor was built in 1969, while the
youngest is Watts Bar 2, which came
online last year and was the first new
reactor completed since 1996.
Nuclear capacity has gradually declined,
with the retirement of the Fort Calhoun
Nuclear Generating Station last year the
fifth retirement since 2013.
Several other plants have announced
plans to retire in the near future -- Oyster
Creek, Pilgrim, Palisades Unit 1, and
Indian Point Units 2 and 3 -- totaling
more than 4 GW of capacity. In addition,
Pacific Gas and Electric announced that
it will not seek license extensions for its 2
GW Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.
Currently four new reactors totaling
more than 4 GW are under construction.
Dominion Energy to
Receive License for Third
Reactor at North Anna
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission
said it will issue a license for a third nuclear
reactor at Dominion Energy’s North Anna
Plant in Virginia, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.
However, Dominion has not yet
indicated when or if it will build the
“Basically, having a combined operating
license allows us the ability to build and
operate a new unit at such time as makes
business sense,” said Richard Zuercher, a
Dominion has spent $600 million to
design and develop a 1,600-MW GE-Hitachi reactor, though building the
Assessment Extension at
Sumner Nuclear Project
SCANA Corp. and Santee Cooper
announced it has extended the term of
its interim assessment agreement with
Westinghouse Electric through June 26.
The agreement allows for a transition
and evaluation period, during which
South Carolina Electric & Gas Company,
a subsidiary of SCANA, and Santee
Cooper, can continue to make progress
on a new nuclear reactor at the Virgil C.
Sumner nuclear station.
The extension gives the owners more
time to maintain all of their options and
continue construction on the project
while examining all relevant information
for a thorough and accurate assessment to
determine the most prudent path forward.
The announcement indicated the extension
was subject to bankruptcy procedures.
Westinghouse filed for Chapter 11
bankruptcy protection in March after
over $6 billion in losses. Though parent
company Toshiba had promised it would
ensure new nuclear development projects
undertaken by Westinghouse would
continue, including the Virgil C. Summer
nuclear station in South Carolina and the
Alvin W. Votgle nuclear plant in Georgia,
it is not yet clear how the bankruptcy
filing would ultimately affect construction
of those projects, both of which are three
EIA: Most U.S. Nuclear
Power Plants Built
Between 1970 and 1990
A new study by the Energy Information
Administration revealed that, of the 99
GW of operating nuclear capacity in the
United States, 95 GW of that came online
between 1970 and 1990.
Though the number of planned nuclear