NORTH ANNA NUCLEAR POWER PLANT
EARLY SITE PERMIT INFORMATION Plant Information
Location: Mineral, VA (40 miles northwest of Richmond, on the shore of Lake Anna; Louisa County)
Owner: Dominion Generation (subsidiary of Dominion Resources, Inc.)
Headquarters: Richmond, VA
Specifications: Produces 1,786 megawatts from two Pressurized Water Reactor units. Unit 1 began ácommercial operation on June 6, 1978 (currently licensed to operate until April 1, 2018) and Unit 2 on December 14, 1980 (licensed to operate until August 21, 2020).
1. Uses too much water. Nuclear reactors must draw in significant amounts of water in order to operate and avoid a meltdown - up to 2.5 billion gallons every day. Adding up to two new reactors at the site could permanently reduce the water level in the lake by several feet. Severe drought last year dramatically dropped the lake level near the point at which the plant must declare an "ALERT." If the new reactors employ cooling towers rather than a once-through cooling system, it could help to some degree, but there may still be a need to bring water in from elsewhere, by truck or even by constructing a pipeline. Drawing water from the lake causes impingement and entrainment of fish, fish spawn, larvae and nutrients; they are routinely destroyed.
2. Disrupts marine ecosystems. In addition to drawing water from the lake, the plant would also discharge water back into the lake. The discharged water can be up to 25░F warmer than the rest of the lake and contains chemicals, heavy metals, cleaning solvents, biocides, and radioactive contamination. This is already a problem with the reactors currently on site - two more would simply double the adverse effects.
3. Increases risk of terrorism. Nuclear plants and plant sites contain and store large amounts of the
most deadly substance known to man: nuclear fuel. The sites are essentially
pre- deployed "dirty bombs" that could cause catastrophic damage to
communities and make an area the size of Pennsylvania uninhabitable if an
accident or attack caused the release of radiation. In an age of increased risk
of terrorism, it makes no sense to construct new targets. The U.S. Nuclear
Regulatory Commission (NRC) is not considering security implications of new
plants in license applications, calling the threat of terrorism "too
speculative." Tests of security forces at nuclear plants have not
included mock water-based assaults.
4. Vulnerability from airplane crashes. There is a large airfield for cargo and general aviation very close to the North Anna site. The General Accounting Office (GAG) concluded in a recent report that cargo and general aviation airfields are more vulnerable to security breaches than commercial airports. While nuclear power stations are being evaluated for risk from accidental aircraft crashes, there remains a clear and present danger from a hijacked, stolen or rented aircraft that could be used in a sabotage of a nuclear power station. This is not adequately evaluated in the Early Site Permit application.
Public Citizen's Critical Mass Energy and Environment Program. (202) 546-4996)