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North Anna, Virginia


On November 20, 2007, Dominion Generation was issued an early site permit (ESP) for their North Anna site in Mineral, Virginia, 40 miles northwest of Richmond and on the shores of Lake Anna. The site is currently home to two reactors, and Dominion seeks approval to build one more.

Background


Public Citizen, along with the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) and the Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS), filed a petition to intervene against the early site permit application on a variety of contentions. On August 6, 2004, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission admitted two of the arguments—that Dominion had failed to analyze the environmental impact if they took no action at all, and that Dominion had failed to fully analyze the impact of new reactors on the striped bass population in the lake. The People's Alliance for Clean Energy (PACE) has formed as a central Virginia chapter of BREDL to combat the new reactors.

The Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the proposed North Anna early site permit was released by NRC in November 2004, and was resoundingly criticized by EPA, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, and Public Citizen. In January 2005, the first contention brought before the NRC by Public Citizen, NIRS, and BREDL was settled and dismissed, but the second contention on the water impacts moved forward. The water impacts include increased lake temperature, lowered water levels, and disruption of downstream water flow.

In January 2006, in response to concerns about these water impacts, Dominion proposed a new cooling system for the third reactor. The design would change from a once-through system to a hybrid wet/dry cooling tower system. As a result, the water contention was dismissed by the licensing board. The licensing process was delayed a year while the NRC prepared a supplemental EIS.

Unfortunately, Dominion's proposal is not sufficient to protect the lake and downstream water supply. Public Citizen also remains concerned about the unresolved waste and security issues that would result from building a new reactor at North Anna.

Despite unresolved water, waste, and security issues Dominion has submitted a Combined Operation License (COL) application. The application, which was submitted on November 27, 2007, seeks approval to build and operate a new nuclear reactor.

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