Dominion Virginia Power selects Mitsubishi design for possible third nuclear unit

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Print this page by Paula C. Squires

After a competitive bidding process, Dominion Virginia Power has selected Mitsubishi heavy industry’s advanced pressurized water reactor technology for a potential third nuclear unit at North Anna Power Station in Louisa County.

“Based on our final analysis of the proposals received in the competitive process, Mitsubishi provided the most attractive value for our customers,” Thomas F. Farrell II, chairman, president and CEO of Dominion said in a statement.

Dominion, parent company of Dominion Virginia Power, said the company received six bids. Since the company has not completed financial negotiations with Misubishi nor signed an engineering construction and procurement contract, it did not disclose a construction cost for the new unit.

Dominion expects to make a decision later this year on whether it will proceed with a third unit. Farrell said Mitsubishi’s reactor designs meet all environmental requirements for the North Anna site and have been tested and proven safe. The design is currently under review for certification by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). 

Originally, Dominion Virginia Power had planned to use GE Hitachi’s ESBWR, which stands for economic simplified boiling water reactor design. However, the company ended negotiations with GE last year, saying the two parties could not agree on terms that enabled Dominion to build a new reactor affordably within construction timelines.

To build a third unit, Dominion Virginia Power must receive a combined operating license from the NRC.  In 2007, Dominion became the country’s first investor-owned utility to apply for such a license. It also would need approval from Virginia’s State Corporation Commission.

If approved, a third nuclear unit would add an additional 1,600 megawatts to the state’s grid, enough to power 375,000 homes

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