WILMINGTON, North Carolina, April 26 Dominion
Resources Inc has notified U.S. regulators it restored GE
Hitachi Nuclear Energy's ESBWR as the technology
for the proposed North Anna 3 nuclear power plant at an existing
nuclear plant in Virginia.
That decision reverses the Virginia-based power company's
2010 decision to replace the General Electric technology with
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd's U.S. Advanced
Pressurized-Water Reactor technology.
The progress GE Hitachi has made refining its ESBWR, or
Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor, design and its
competitive commercial offering "provide the best overall
profile for the (central Virginia) project," Dominion told the
Nuclear Regulatory Commission in a letter on Thursday.
GE Hitachi will engineer the ESBWR design specifically for
Dominion's North Anna site, GE spokesman Christopher White said
The site is located near the epicenter of the August 2011
earthquake that damaged the Washington Monument.
The company will also guide Dominion through the licensing
process under a multi-year contract with its Dominion Virginia
Power utility subsidiary, providing about 70 jobs at GE
Nuclear's headquarters north of Wilmington.
Fluor Corp said late Thursday it would provide
project development services for the proposed reactor.
This is not a commitment to build a reactor, White pointed
out. Dominion would decide whether to build a reactor after it
receives an operating license.
Fluor said once Dominion receives federal permission to
proceed, expected in 2015, and decides whether to build the
unit, Fluor will build the facility.
David Durham, chief commercial officer for GE Hitachi, said
the NRC is nearing the end of its process of certifying the
ESBWR for use in U.S. plants, adding certification could come by
early next year. That's two and a half years later than company
officials projected in 2011, when the NRC cleared the reactor's
safety evaluation report and design.