EARTHQUAKE

Dominion's North Anna Power Station can restart

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Various groups have said the quake and subsequent shutdown at North Anna Power Station brought attention to the danger of another event in the area. Some have asked Dominion to retrofit the two reactors at the plant to higher earthquake safety standards.

The NRC has said it plans to order all U.S. plants to update their earthquake risk analyses, a complex exercise that could take two years for some plants. The review, launched well before the East Coast quake and the Japan nuclear disaster in March, marks the first complete update to seismic risk in years for the nation's 104 existing reactors, despite research showing greater hazards.

The two North Anna reactors are among 27 in the eastern and central U.S. that may need upgrades, according to a preliminary NRC review.

When fully operational, the Virginia facility produces enough energy to power about 450,000 homes. Dominion had been using other power sources in its generation system or is buying power to make up for the plant being offline.

The company is still weighing the addition of a third reactor at the Louisa County power plant but has not yet committed to move forward. The company will reassess when it receives operating approval from the NRC, expected in 2013.

Dominion Virginia Power is a subsidiary of Richmond-based Dominion Resources Inc., one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy and has the nation's largest natural gas storage system. It serves retail customers in 15 states.

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