ALBUQUERQUE – U.S. Senator Pete Domenici today said that momentum for nuclear energy in America is continuing to grow, as evidenced by the filing of the third formal application to build a new nuclear power plant in the last three months.
Domenici, the ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the Senate’s leading expert and proponent of nuclear energy, today applauded news that Dominion Generation has filed a Combined Operating License (COL) application to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Dominion seeks to add a third reactor unit to the North Anna Power Station, located northwest of Richmond near Louisa, VA.
“It is clear that momentum for nuclear energy in America is continuing to grow. After 30 years with no action, we have now seen three applications to build new plants in the last three months, with even more possible in the near future. This is an exciting time for nuclear, and for those that want cleaner energy in our nation,” Domenici said.
“It has been obvious to me for quite some time that any serious effort to address global climate change must have nuclear energy as its centerpiece. Nuclear power is clean, safe, and efficient. As we work on policies that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we must continue to support nuclear energy just as other nations have done,” he continued.
An Early Site Permit (ESP) was issued to Dominion for North Anna on November 20 by the NRC, clearing the way for the project to proceed. The ESP was issued following a cost-sharing agreement between Dominion and the U.S. Department of Energy.
Dominion is partnering with Bechtel Corporation and General Electric-Hitachi on the COL application. The unit would operate a next-generation General Electric reactor, which would provide enough energy to power 375,000 homes in Virginia. If the application is approved, the new unit could be online as soon as 2015.
Most analysts have credited the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which was shepherded through Congress by Domenici, for spurring the current round of applications. Domenici is the author of “A Brighter Tomorrow: Fulfilling the Promise of Nuclear Energy,” which was published in 2004.