Dominion taps Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for nuclear reactor at possible nuclear plant in Virginia

Source: Dominion

The US-APWR reactor design of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) has been selected by Dominion Virginia Power as the prospective reactor for its potential third nuclear power generation unit at the North Anna Power Station in central Virginia. 

The station, located on Lake Anna, 45 miles northwest of Richmond, Va., now has two nuclear units producing 1,842 megawatts of electricity for customers of Dominion Virginia Power and minority owner Old Dominion Electric Cooperative. The Mitsubishi US-APWR technology would be introduced for construction of Unit 3 if the company decides to go forward with the project. 

Mitsubishi Nuclear Energy Systems Inc. (MNES), MHI's wholly-owned subsidiary in Arlington, Va., proposed the design on behalf of MHI. 

Dominion Virginia Power's prospective selection of MHI's reactor technology was the result of a competitive process conducted by the utility that involved bids from global reactor vendors. The design is among the world's largest advanced-pressurized-water reactors (APWR), capable of powering more than 360,000 U.S. homes. In 2007, Texas-based Luminant selected the US-APWR design for its Comanche Peak Units 3 and 4 south of Fort Worth, Tex. 

"We believe the selection of the US-APWR by Dominion Virginia Power reflects the US-APWR's excellent economy, proven safety and long-term reliability in meeting increasing demand for electricity forecasted for Virginia, and adding to the company's portfolio of electrical generating facilities to meet this new load growth," said Kiyoshi Yamauchi, President and Chief Executive Officer of MNES. "It also shows confidence in MHI's track record of building 24 nuclear power plants and having the resources to provide R&D, manufacturing, construction and maintenance to our customers." 

MHI developed the US-APWR based on technologies for a 1,538 MW APWR intended for use at the Tsuruga Power Station (Units 3 and 4) of the Japan Atomic Power Company. A variety of modifications were added to meet the demands of U.S. utility customers for enhanced performance, including the world's highest level of thermal efficiency, a 20% reduction in plant building volume, a 24-month fuel cycle, and greater economy through increased power generation capacity. 

To date MHI has built 24 pressurized water reactors in Japan and has exported numerous components for nuclear power plants to U.S. utilities, including reactor vessel heads, control rod drive mechanisms and steam generators. MHI first entered the U.S. nuclear market in 2002 through an order from Dominion for a replacement reactor vessel closure head and control rod drive mechanism at its Surry and North Anna nuclear plants, respectively. 

Dominion must obtain a combined construction and operating license from the NRC as well as an agreement from Virginia State Corporation Commission, to construct a new nuclear unit at North Anna.

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