Safety board endorses Surry second license renewal

May 8, 2020, 1:03PMNuclear News

The ACRS supports subsequent license renewal for the Dominion units. Photo: Dominion Energy

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS) has issued a report recommending approval of Dominion Energy’s 20-year subsequent license renewal (SLR) application for Surry-1 and -2. The board reached its conclusion during its April meeting, after reviewing both the SLR application and the associated final safety evaluation report. Dominion submitted the application in October 2018.

In the ACRS’s view, the established programs and commitments made by Dominion to manage age-related degradation at Surry provide reasonable assurance that the reactor can be operated through the subsequent period of extended operation without undue risk to public health and safety.

Details: "Prior to requesting SLR, Dominion has been making systematic improvements in the Surry facility,” the ACRS said in its April 30 report. “Significant primary system modifications included replacement of the flux thimbles, reactor vessel head, and reactor coolant pump main flange bolts. Secondary system modifications were implemented to replace flow-assisted corroded piping, to replace the steam generator feed ring, and to install ultrasonic feedwater flow instrumentation.”

In addition, Dominion has updated the electrical system, replaced the fire detection system, and is making upgrades to the underground piping. “These improvements demonstrate investments by Dominion to maintain the units in good material condition to assure safe operation,” the ACRS said in affirming their SLR approval recommendation.

Background: The Surry units, located in Surry, Va., are 874-MWe pressurized water reactors that began operation in May 1972 and January 1973, respectively. The initial license renewal for the units, granted in March 2003, expire in 2032 and 2033. Subsequent SLRs would permit the plant to generating electricity into 2053.

Dominion is also seeking SLRs for its other Virginia reactors, North Anna-1 and -2, twin 973-MWe PWRs located about 100 miles northwest of Surry, in Mineral, Va. The utility submitted a letter of intent to apply for those SLRs in November 2017 and is expected to submit its official SLR application this year, in the October–December time frame. North Anna-1 and -2 first went on line in June 1978 and December 1980, respectively.

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