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Dominion files request to keep Surry nuclear plant online beyond 2050

Dominion Energy Inc., as promised, is seeking a second renewal of the operating licenses of its 1,750-MW Surry nuclear plant in Virginia that if granted would keep the reactors online beyond 2050.

Regulated utility subsidiary Dominion Energy Virginia on Oct. 16 filed an application with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to renew its operating licenses for the Surry nuclear plant for an additional 20 years. The current licenses for the two pressurized water reactors expire in 2032 and 2033.

The units began operating in 1972 and 1973 and originally were licensed to operate for 40 years. The licenses were renewed for 20 additional years in 2003. Dominion said in November 2015 that it would seek a second relicensing of the nuclear units, allowing them to operate until 2052 and 2053, respectively.

"Our application to renew Surry Power Station's licenses for another 20-year period is good news for our customers, the regional economy and the environment," Dan Stoddard, Dominion Energy's chief nuclear officer, said in an Oct. 16 news release. "Our customers will benefit from continuing to receive safe, reliable, affordable, and clean electricity from the station through 2053."

Dominion also has indicated that it will seek 20-year license extensions for its existing North Anna nuclear units, which came online in 1978 and 1980.

Dominion Energy Virginia, known legally as Virginia Electric and Power Co., in November 2017 notified the NRC of its intent to file an application in 2020 to relicense the North Anna nuclear plant in Louisa County, Va.

Dominion Energy said it could spend "as much as $4 billion over the next decade on the Surry-North Anna relicensing program."

The Surry and North Anna plants now join a list of reactors looking to be licensed to operate for a total of 80 years.

NextEra Energy Inc. subsidiary Florida Power & Light Co. earlier this year became the first to file an application for a second 20-year operating license, for units 3 and 4 at its 1,652-MW Turkey Point nuclear plant outside Miami.