Skip to main content

Report from North Anna

JoAnn Sperber, NEI's Director of Member Communications, was on the scene in Virginia last night for the latest in a series of meetings concerning the construction of a new nuclear reactor at North Anna. Her report follows:
Virginians Discuss New Plant Plans at North Anna

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission last night held another in a series of meetings detailing the licensing process for new nuclear power plants. This session focused on Dominion Generation’s plan to submit a combined construction and operating license application for a new reactor at its North Anna plant.

After a series of presentations by NRC officials, the 130 people gathered at the meeting asked questions on a range of issues, including water use from Lake Anna, nuclear energy's role in addressing climate change, potential economic benefits of a new reactor, used fuel management and nuclear security.

Although several opposition groups were present, including the People’s Alliance for Clean Energy and Beyond Nuclear, many local residents commented favorably on Dominion’s consideration of adding a third reactor to the plant site. George Lear, a plant neighbor and 30-year veteran of the Navy’s nuclear programs, said, “Nuclear energy is a safe, reliable part of the nation’s energy mix.”

Harry Ruth, president of a local environmental group called Friends of Lake Anna, said, “We want to encourage Dominion to go forward with a new reactor, but to protect the lake in the process.” He called the NRC licensing process “too complicated” and said that overlapping jurisdiction between federal and state authorities made a full understanding of the issues difficult to attain.

Marvin Smith, director of Dominion’s licensing project for the new reactor, said the company expects to submit its license application with the NRC next month. He added that Dominion has not made a decision to build, but “will proceed with the application to preserve the option on building a new nuclear plant.” He also noted that utility officials in the 11-state region that includes Virginia have estimated that homes and business in the area served by Dominion will demand more electricity between now and 2015. To address that demand, energy companies will have to add 4,000 megawatts to the electricity grid. “We are looking at a number of alternatives,” Smith noted. “A new reactor at North Anna would add 1,500 megawatts of electricity.”
UPDATE: Click here for video. And click here for an interview with Dominion Virginia employee and NEI Nuclear Notes contributor, Michael Stuart.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Sneak Peek

There's an invisible force powering and propelling our way of life.
It's all around us. You can't feel it. Smell it. Or taste it.
But it's there all the same. And if you look close enough, you can see all the amazing and wondrous things it does.
It not only powers our cities and towns.
And all the high-tech things we love.
It gives us the power to invent.
To explore.
To discover.
To create advanced technologies.
This invisible force creates jobs out of thin air.
It adds billions to our economy.
It's on even when we're not.
And stays on no matter what Mother Nature throws at it.
This invisible force takes us to the outer reaches of outer space.
And to the very depths of our oceans.
It brings us together. And it makes us better.
And most importantly, it has the power to do all this in our lifetime while barely leaving a trace.
Some people might say it's kind of unbelievable.
They wonder, what is this new power that does all these extraordinary things?

A Design Team Pictures the Future of Nuclear Energy

For more than 100 years, the shape and location of human settlements has been defined in large part by energy and water. Cities grew up near natural resources like hydropower, and near water for agricultural, industrial and household use.

So what would the world look like with a new generation of small nuclear reactors that could provide abundant, clean energy for electricity, water pumping and desalination and industrial processes?

Hard to say with precision, but Third Way, the non-partisan think tank, asked the design team at the Washington, D.C. office of Gensler & Associates, an architecture and interior design firm that specializes in sustainable projects like a complex that houses the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. The talented designers saw a blooming desert and a cozy arctic village, an old urban mill re-purposed as an energy producer, a data center that integrates solar panels on its sprawling flat roofs, a naval base and a humming transit hub.

In the converted mill, high temperat…

Seeing the Light on Nuclear Energy

If you think that there is plenty of electricity, that the air is clean enough and that nuclear power is a just one among many options for meeting human needs, then you are probably over-focused on the United States or Western Europe. Even then, you’d be wrong.

That’s the idea at the heart of a new book, “Seeing the Light: The Case for Nuclear Power in the 21st Century,” by Scott L. Montgomery, a geoscientist and energy expert, and Thomas Graham Jr., a retired ambassador and arms control expert.


Billions of people live in energy poverty, they write, and even those who don’t, those who live in places where there is always an electric outlet or a light switch handy, we need to unmake the last 200 years of energy history, and move to non-carbon sources. Energy is integral to our lives but the authors cite a World Health Organization estimate that more than 6.5 million people die each year from air pollution.  In addition, they say, the global climate is heading for ruinous instability. E…