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Dominion says Unit 3 still on track, though opponents aren't too sure

 Work continues on a parking lot near a motor pool shop at North Anna Nuclear Power Station in Louisa County.
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Date published: 1/12/2013


Also in 2007, Dominion applied for a combined license to build and operate Unit 3. Initially, it expected approval by 2012, but that has been pushed back by delays associated with the proposed reactor, and other regulatory hurdles.

Dominion had planned to use a GE Hitachi design. That fell through in 2009 after Dominion was unable to reach an engineering, procurement and construction agreement with the company. Then in 2010, the company decided on Mitsubishi Heavy Industry's US-Advanced Pressurized Water Reactor for Unit 3, but the certification of the reactor by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has taken longer than expected. That has been pushed into 2015.

Lou Zeller, executive director of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, which also opposes Unit 3, said he's skeptical, given the industry challenges, that Unit 3 is still viable.

"I think Dominion is whistling past the graveyard on this project."

He added that the company's continued reliance on coal is also counterproductive.

"It seems like they're paddling in the wrong direction, and if nuclear is a part of that, it's another bad bet."

Rusty Dennen: 540/374-5431
Email: rdennen@freelancestar.com

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Dominion power wants to use Mitsubishi's US-Advanced Pressurized Water Reactor design for a planned third nuclear reactor at North Anna Power Station. It is still under certification review by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The reactor would generate about 1,700 megawatts, enough electricity to power about 360,000 homes.

North Anna's two existing Westinghouse Pressurized Water Reactors combined generate about 1,860 megawatts. Those came online in 1978 and 1980.

--Dominion Virginia Power