Wisconsin nuclear power plant to be shut down

Dominion (NYSE: D) on Oct. 22 said it plans to close and decommission its 556 MW Kewaunee Power Station in Carlton, Wis., after the company was unable to find a buyer for the nuclear power plant. Pending a grid reliability review by the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator (MISO), Dominion said the station is expected to cease power production in the second quarter of 2013 and move to safe shutdown.

Dominion announced in April 2011 that it would seek to sell Kewaunee as part of a regular review of its portfolio of assets to determine which assets fit strategically and support its objectives to improve return on invested capital and shareholder value. The company was unable to find a buyer for the facility.

"This decision was based purely on economics. Dominion was not able to move forward with our plan to grow our nuclear fleet in the Midwest to take advantage of economies of scale,” said Thomas F. Farrell II, Dominion chairman, president and CEO.

The station will remain under the oversight of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) throughout the decommissioning process. Following station shutdown, Dominion plans to meet its obligations to the two utilities that purchase Kewaunee's generation through market purchases until the power purchase agreements expire in December 2013.

Dominion said the Kewaunee's decommissioning trust is currently fully funded, and it believes that the amounts available in the trust plus expected earnings will be sufficient to cover all decommissioning costs expected to be incurred after the station closes.

The station in Carlton, Wis., on Lake Michigan about 35 miles southeast of Green Bay began commercial operation in 1974. Dominion acquired the station in July 2005. It has one Westinghouse pressurized water reactor. Dominion acquired the station in July 2005 and in February 2011, the NRC renewed the station's operating license for an additional 20 years, until 2033.

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