The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced Tuesday it was approving Dominion Energy’s application on a 20-year renewal of its operating licenses for the Surry nuclear plant in Virginia. The renewed licenses authorize reactor lifetime operation from 60 to 80 years.
Surry is the third nuclear power station to receive a subsequent license renewal from the NRC, following Florida Power & Light’s Turkey Point units 3 and 4 and Exelon Generation’s Peach Bottom units 2 and 3.
The utility originally applied for the 20-year extensions in 2018. Dominion has also applied for license renewal at the two North Anna Power Station units in Louisa County, Va. The NRC is reviewing that application.
In its March 2020 final Safety Evaluation Report regarding the application, NRC staff concluded the Westinghouse three-loop pressurized-water reactors commissioned between 1972 and 1973 had managed the effects of aging and met standards for a renewal issuance.
“Extending Surry’s operations is critical to Dominion Energy meeting the Virginia Clean Economy Act’s requirements for zero-carbon electricity by 2045,” Virginia Governor, Ralph Northam said. “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.”
Surry generates 14.1 million MWh of carbon-free electricity annually, enough electricity for about 419,000 homes.