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Virginia nuclear plants seek license renewal
Associated Press
© May 30, 2001

RICHMOND -- Dominion is seeking federal approval to operate its two Virginia nuclear plants for an additional 20 years, utility officials said today.

Applications to renew the licenses of the North Anna and Surry nuclear stations were filed with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Tuesday.

``Our stations have consistently received high marks from the NRC and the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations for safety and efficiency, and are the least-cost sources of electricity in our system,' said Thomas E. Capps, chairman and chief executive officer of the Richmond-based utility.

``Relicensing our nuclear stations will assure that Virginians will continue to have plentiful supplies of safe, reliable and economic electricity well into the 21st century.'

Soaring electricity costs and blackouts in California have prompted increased interest in nuclear energy nationwide.

``The California experience has demonstrated that plentiful supplies of electricity must be available in the future if our state and nation are to prosper,' Capps said.

Dominion has no plans to build any new nuclear plants, company spokesman Jim Norvelle said. However, he said Dominion will bid on Vermont and New Hampshire nuclear plants that are expected to be sold at auction later this year.

The North Anna plant, about 60 miles northwest of Richmond in Louisa County, has two 900-megawatt reactors. The original operating permits for those units expire in 2018 and 2020.

The Surry plant, on the Names River across from Jamestown, has two 800-megawatt reactors. Permits for those units expire in 2012 and 2013.

Norvelle said the NRC requires utilities to apply for license renewal at least 10 years before the existing license expires. Applicants must demonstrate that continued operation of the units would pose no environmental or public safety hazards.

Reposted by RedPoet.

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