North Anna, Surry rated lowest-cost nuclear stations
Dominion Virginia Power's North Anna and Surry power stations in Virginia were among the lowest cost producers of nuclear-generated electricity in the country, according to a recent report by a nuclear industry trade publication.
Nucleonics Week, a newsletter and database published by Platts, reported that North Anna in Louisa County and Surry in Surry County were the lowest and second-lowest cost producers of the companies that reported costs to the federal government during the three-year period 2010-2012. Platts, a unit of McGraw Hill Financial, is a provider of energy and commodities information.
“Key to our low-cost performance is our highly skilled and experienced work force in addition to having identical units. It is gratifying to see that we have been very successful when compared to other operating nuclear units,” David Heacock, Dominion’s chief nuclear officer, said in a statement.
According to Nucleonics Week, which published the story in late January, of 27 stations reporting their nuclear operations and maintenance costs, the average production costs from 2010 through 2012 for North Anna and Surry were the lowest — $16.05 and $17.38 per megawatt-hour, respectively.
Averaging operations and maintenance costs over a three-year period provides an accurate perspective of nuclear generation costs because it minimizes the impact of refueling outages. Dominion's nuclear units are refueled every 18 months. Typically, refueling outages in the industry take about 35 days to complete.
Meanwhile, North Anna was the lowest-cost producer of nuclear-generated electricity for 2012, and Surry ranked as the fifth lowest-cost producer, of the stations that reported costs. North Anna and Surry's operations and maintenance costs totaled $14.76 and $20.21 per megawatt-hour, respectively.
“We have a huge advantage in being able to share spare parts, and share workforce and procedures,” Heacock said. He also noted that the company benefits from performing more work in-house, which provides a cost advantage over other nuclear operators.