Dominion’s Surry nuclear plant’s lifespan extended to 2052-53
Nuclear Regulatory Commission grants extension for nearly 50-year-old nuclear reactors
Dominion Energy Inc.’s two Surry County nuclear power reactors have received approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to operate until 2052 and 2053.
The two nuclear reactors at Dominion’s Surry Power Station, which are capable of generating enough power for 419,000 homes, received a 20-year extension from its previous license, which allowed the plants to operate until 2032 and 2033. The station’s three-loop Westinghouse pressurized water nuclear reactors went into operation in 1972 and 1973 and will be 80 years old by 2052 and 2053.
Like all U.S. nuclear reactors, the North Anna and Surry nuclear facilities were both initially licensed to operate for 40 years. The Surry and North Anna reactors received 20-year operating extensions in 2003.
The Surry plants and the two nuclear power facilities at Dominion’s North Anna Power Station provide nearly a third of the electricity for the Richmond-based Fortune 500 utility’s 2.7 million customers in Virginia and North Carolina. In September 2020, Dominion filed a still-pending request to keep the North Anna facility operating until 2060.
“Renewing Surry’s licenses for another 20-year period is great news for our customers, the environment and the regional economy,” said Dominion Energy’s chief nuclear officer, Dan Stoddard. “Our customers will benefit from continuing to receive safe, reliable, affordable and carbon-free electricity from the station through 2053. Extending Surry’s operations is critical to Dominion Energy meeting the Virginia Clean Economy Act’s requirements for zero-carbon electricity by 2045. It also positions Virginia for continued economic growth and will help the commonwealth remain a leader in the production of clean energy in the mid-Atlantic and South. It supports more than 900 high-paying jobs at the station and produces additional economic and tax benefits.”
In a statement, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said, “My administration has focused on building a carbon-free electricity grid. Carbon-free, around-the-clock nuclear power and the well-paying clean energy jobs it creates is a vital part of achieving that goal.”