Dominion to shut Wisconsin Kewaunee reactor on May 7

April 15 Mon Apr 15, 2013 2:59pm EDT

April 15 (Reuters) - U.S. power company Dominion Resources Inc told U.S. nuclear regulators it planned to shut the 566-megawatt (MW) Kewaunee nuclear power plant in Wisconsin on May 7.

Dominion has said it will shut Kewaunee, even though its license does not expire until 2033, due to economic reasons related in part to low natural gas prices that have driven power prices to decade lows.

Kewaunee will be the second U.S. reactor to retire this year. The last group of reactors to retire was in the late 1990s.

Earlier this year, Duke Energy Corp said it would retire its 860-MW Crystal River 3 reactor in Florida due in part to the uncertain cost of replacing the unit's containment structure.

Crystal River 3 had been shut since 2009 when its containment structure was damaged during a power upgrade and replacement of the unit's steam generators.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said Monday it will hold a public meeting April 24 near the Kewaunee plant to discuss Dominion's plan to shut the reactor.

Kewaunee is a pressurized water reactor located 27 miles (43 km) southeast of Green Bay, Wisconsin. The plant began commercial operation in June 1974.

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