Dominion still planning for third nuclear reactor in Louisa

By Tara Morgan - bio | email | facebook

LOUISA, VA (WWBT) - The threat of a nuclear meltdown in Japan is on the minds of those at Dominion Virginia Power, but it's still moving forward with plans for a third nuclear reactor in Louisa.

Dominion said it hasn't yet decided whether to build a third reactor at its North Anna Power Station, but wants the option there to meet customer demand. Meanwhile people who live near the nuclear power plant said they're not fearful, despite the disaster in Japan.

For twenty years, Shirley Jones has enjoyed the view from her back porch.

"There's no place I would rather live than right here," said Jones.

Her Tara Woods home isn't far from the North Anna Power Station which is home to two Dominion Virginia Power nuclear reactors. Dominion, which operates two more in Surry, is waiting for federal approval for a license to build and operate another reactor at North Anna.

"One thing I do think about, and I think that probably everybody that lives in an area around any of those nuclear plants think about, the property values and will this scare people, " said Jones.

Like the rest of the world, Dominion is keeping close tabs on the nuclear scare in Japan to see what improvements can come of Friday's devastating quake and tsunami industry-wide. Dominion said it has a safe operating record at North Anna, and points out its reactors are designed differently from the ones in Japan.

North Anna has seen a few tremors, but isn't considered a high quake zone. A barrier made of concrete and steel protects the reactors. Dominion said they're built to withstand a worst case scenario earthquake.

"I have a whole lot of confidence in our technology nowadays," said Mr. Keene, who also lives on Lake Anna.

In Jones' mind, a third reactor wouldn't make much difference.

"If we're going to have an incident I figure whether there's one, two or three, it's something we'd have to face," said Jones.

A decision on whether Dominion gets its license to build and operate a third reactor isn't expected until 2013.

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