By. John Haksch, Louisa County Field Officer
Dominion Resources presented its annual ‘State of the Station’ report to the Louisa County Board of Supervisors in the midst of the pall cast over the industry by the recent tragedy at Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant. Before going over the highlights of the printed report Larry Lane, Site Vice President of North Anna Power Station (photo), fielded questions regarding the likelihood of a similar disaster occurring at North Anna.
Lane stated that the March 11, 2011 earthquake in Japan, which their six reactors survived relatively unscathed, was at least 1,000 times more powerful than any earthquake ever recorded at a nuclear facility in the United States. He further explained that the North Anna power station’s backup cooling systems are completely independent of the local power grid or the water in Lake Anna, so that even in the event of a dam breach and total loss of the lake water, redundant steam- and diesel powered cooling systems would maintain adequate coolant levels.
Lane discussed the ongoing plans for the third reactor that is currently in the permitting process. This reactor was originally to have been situated atop several known seismic faults, as are reactors one and two, but the master plan has since been redrawn to move reactor 3 a significant distance from the original location. The existing reactors are designed to withstand a seismic event of up to 5.9 on the Richter scale…far stronger than any event recorded at the site, before or since the construction of North Anna. Dominion’s position is that due to state of the art upgrades in all systems and an advanced design that is far more stable than that of the Fukushima plant, there is no danger of a radiation leak being caused by a seismic event. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) seems to concur with this assessment.
The report presented included a “Business Impact” statement:
North Anna Power Station is a major employer and taxpayer in Louisa County, and contributes much to the local economy. North Anna Power Station employs approximately 892 full-time employees and 125 supplemental personnel. During refueling outages there are typically 1000 additional supplemental personnel to assist in outage activities. This temporary increase in the station workforce provides additional revenue for Louisa County merchants and the service-related businesses in the County, as well as increased revenue from taxes.
Dominion’s tax payment to Louisa County on behalf of the North Anna Power Station in 2010 was $10.396 million. Total taxes paid to Louisa County from Dominion through 2010 amounted to more than $262 million.
The entire “State of the Station” report can be found on pages 243-258 of the Louisa County Board of Supervisors 3/21/11 agenda packet (pdf).
John Haksch is the Louisa County Field Officer for the Free Enterprise Forum a privately funded public policy organization. If you find this report helpful, please consider supporting the Free Enterprise Forum. To learn more visit www.freeenterpriseforum.org