US nuclear plants 20 year operating extensions will benefit clean energy and environment

Dominion Resources Inc. will ask federal regulators for permission run the Surry nuclear power plant in Virginia until it’s 80 years old. Extending by 20 years would keep US nuclear plants running into 2050-2075 instead of 2030-2055. If they were extended to 100 years they would be running til 2070-2095.

Dominion said in a statement Friday that it’ll become the first U.S. utility to notify the Nuclear Regulatory Commission of plans to request a second license renewal for a nuclear power plant. The two Surry units’ licenses expire in 2032 and 2033 and would be extended to 2052 and 2053 should Dominion’s request be approved.

At least seven reactors in Pennsylvania, Virginia and South Carolina, are preparing to ask for permission to run them until they are 80 years old.

  • Exelon’s two operating reactors at the Peach Bottom plant in Pennsylvania
  • Dominion’s twin Surry reactors, near Jamestown, Va.
  • Duke’s three Oconee reactors

The consensus of the commission staff and the industry is that with appropriate analysis and monitoring, the reactors can generate huge amounts of carbon-free electricity for additional decades.

The American Physical Society has a 28 page report which indicates that there are no technical issues with another 20 year nuclear plant operating license extension