Feb 19 Dominion Resources Inc will retire
the 565-megawatt Kewaunee nuclear plant in Wisconsin in the
second quarter after the Midwest grid operator determined the
plant is not needed to maintain electric reliability, the
company said on Tuesday.
Dominion said last fall the plant was no longer economical
in the face of growing competition from natural gas-fired
"Kewaunee may retire immediately," the Midwest Independent
Transmission System Operator (MISO) said in a letter to Dominion
after its review.
Earlier this month, Duke Energy, the largest U.S.
power company, said it would retire the Crystal River reactor in
Florida, which has been shut since 2009, due to rising repair
Industry sources said these actions may signal the shutdown
of other U.S. nuclear plants as weak natural gas prices make
significant investment in older, single-unit reactors
Dominion said that after the Kewaunee reactor shuts in the
second quarter it will use market purchases to meet its
obligations to utilities that purchase Kewaunee generation until
the contracts expire in December.
The station will remain under the oversight of the Nuclear
Regulatory Commission throughout the shutdown and
decommissioning process, Dominion said.
"We intend to take all steps necessary to ensure the
protection of the public, employees and the environment. The
station will have the resources it needs," said Tom Farrell,
Dominion's chief executive officer, in a release.
Kewaunee began commercial operation in 1974. Dominion
acquired the station in July 2005. In February 2011, the NRC
renewed the station's operating license for an additional 20
years, until 2033.
At that point, Dominion tried unsuccessfully to find a buyer
for the station.