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First Eighty-Year Nuclear Plant Licensing Could be Made Next Year


Dominion Energy could spend $4 billion over the next decade on the Surry-North Anna relicensing program and plant maintenance. The two nuclear units at Surry Power Station are both three-loop Westinghouse pressurized water reactors that produce 1,676 net megawatts. This is about 14% of the electricity used in Virginia. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission could extend the operating license for the two reactors by 20 years to 2052 and 2053. Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) president and CEO Maria Korsnick said digital technology, 3D printers, big-data analytics, and artificial intelligence are enabling upgrades existing nuclear plants for extended operation. Westinghouse was recently funded by the DOE to make what could the first of a new generation of factory mass produced microreactors. Small modular reactors and micro-reactors from many companies could start providing significant new nuclear power. There is also progress to new nuclear fuel that has more surface area which could improve safety, increase power generation and improve nuclear power economics.

1 Comments in Response to

Comment by Ed Price
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Nuclear might be better than other energy in many ways. But here is the way it is bad. If a big earthquake hits a coal mine, a bunch of miners die, and they have to rebuild the mine. If a big earthquake hits a petroleum well, a few rig workers die and they have to drill again. If a big earthquake takes out, say, Hoover Dam, folks downstream die, and they have to rebuild the dam if they want more power. If a big earthquake takes out solar or wind-power plants, maybe nobody dies, but they have to rebuild. BUT, if a big earthquake takes out a nuclear power plant, the land and water are polluted, and millions or billions die. Look at what's coming with Fukushima. Do you want to take another chance like that?

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