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Dominion Energy recognizes nuclear power is a highly reliable source of zero carbon emission electricity that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. During 2021 the company’s seven nuclear power reactors located in Connecticut, Virginia, and South Carolina produced more than 52,700,000 MWh of carbon free electricity avoiding the release of *40.5 million tons of CO2 emissions. The company views nuclear energy as a crucial element in its strategy to achieve Net Zero carbon and methane emissions. In May of 2021, the company received Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approval to extend the operating license an additional 20 years for each unit at Surry Power Station, allowing Surry Unit 1 to operate through May 2052 and Surry Unit 2 to operate through January 2053. The company is also pursuing operating license extensions for North Anna Power Station and V.C. Summer Power Station, evaluating operating license extensions for Millstone Power Station, and evaluating advanced nuclear technologies such as small modular reactors (SMRs).

*Based off the EPA AVERT national weighted average.
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Benefits of Advanced Nuclear Technologies

Advanced nuclear technologies including SMRs build on decades of research and development to improve the cost and safety of commercial nuclear power production. Here are some benefits of advanced nuclear technologies over existing commercial nuclear plants.

Critical Component of a Net Zero Energy Mix

SMRs serve as a carbon-free complement to renewable generation, providing reliable and clean energy

Siting Flexibility

A small footprint makes it possible to site SMRs on previously used sites such as retired fossil-fuel plants, existing operating nuclear sites, other industrial areas, or greenfield sites

Flexible Power Output

SMRs are designed to provide variable energy output to ensure we meet our customers’ load requirements throughout the day, further enhancing grid reliability and security

Modularity

SMRs may be constructed off-site in modules and delivered to a site, allowing plants to be built faster, improving construction schedule certainty

Frequently Asked Questions

SMR stands for small modular reactor. There is no universally accepted definition in the industry. The term “SMR” is generally used to describe any reactor technology in the 50 MW to 350 MW electric output range.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission considers Advanced Reactors as those reactor designs that do not use ordinary water as a reactor coolant nor as a neutron moderator (a medium to slow down neutrons during the fission process). These new reactor designs leverage technologies which have been studied, demonstrated, and proven in the United States and around the globe for more than five decades.

The most obvious difference between SMRs and existing commercial nuclear reactors is their size. For example, each of the currently operating reactors at North Anna Power Station generates approximately 950 MWs of electricity. SMR designs generally produce less than 300 MWs of electricity. The footprint of a typical SMR is also substantially smaller than a traditional nuclear power plant, providing siting options that are not typically available for larger, more traditional nuclear facilities. Other innovations in technology and construction practices also reduce capital cost and the time to construct a facility.

Several reactor vendors have SMR designs in varying stages of regulatory approval with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Dominion Energy is reviewing those designs to determine the best options for the company to help meet its net zero emissions goals with a technology that is safe, cost-effective, reliable, and expected to be commercially available to support an in-service date in the early 2030s.

Dominion Energy recognizes its net zero emissions goals cannot be achieved by way of solar, wind, and energy storage alone. SMRs present the opportunity to provide an additional energy source which is available at all hours of the day to complement renewable energy. Achieving Net Zero emissions will require the implementation of several strategies working in tandem.

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