Coal, Nuclear, Reactors

New vessel head installed on North Anna Unit 2

RICHMOND, Va., Jan. 23, 2003 — Dominion Energy, the electric generating unit of Dominion, installed a new crack-resistant vessel head on its North Anna Unit 2 nuclear reactor Thursday and said it expects to return the unit to service by the end of January.

Dominion also announced that, based on the success of the project, it will accelerate the vessel head replacements on its remaining three Virginia reactors and complete the work during refueling outages this year.

The company has purchased two additional vessel heads from Framatome ANP of France for installation at North Anna Unit 1 and Surry Unit 1 this spring. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries of Japan will supply a new vessel head that will be installed at Surry Unit 2 this fall.

Thos. E. Capps, chairman, president and chief executive officer, said: “It makes economic sense for us to buy these new heads and install them in 2003 rather than conduct timely and expensive inspections and repairs, and then replace them anyway during the next two years. We want to finish this work this year so we can focus on solid, sustained nuclear performance for the long term.

“Our decision to replace the North Anna Unit 2 vessel head was a bold, aggressive and successful response to a generic industry problem. We have demonstrated that we have the kind of management and nuclear engineering team that can quickly take on a project of this magnitude and finish it when we said we would. I’m very proud of what’s been accomplished.”

Dominion decided to replace the original vessel head on North Anna Unit 2 after inspections found minor indications of leakage in the welds that attach control rod drive guide and instrument tubes to the vessel head.

Dominion has a diversified and integrated energy portfolio consisting of about 24,000 megawatts of generation. Dominion also serves more than 3.8 million franchise natural gas and electric customers in five states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company’s Web site at