Dominion should compare risks of gas-fired vs. nuclear plants, regulator says


Dominion Resources (D -0.5%) says Virginia regulators want it to compare the risk of relying heavily on natural gas-fired generation with the risk of adding a nuclear unit at its North Anna power station.

An analysis would provide info that would give the company and the State Corporation Commission guidance on whether Dominion should follow a base generation development plan that has the least cost options or a fuel diversity plan that would result in lower emissions.

If the risk analysis finds the risk of fluctuating gas prices offsets the nuclear development costs, then Dominion should conduct a timing analysis for a third unit at North Anna, the regulator says.

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Comments (8)
  • ephud
    , contributor
    Comments (4213) | Send Message
     
    Tough choice here. Both are safe but Nuclear emits no CO2.
    9 Jul 2014, 12:57 PM Reply Like
  • normanbk
    , contributor
    Comments (42) | Send Message
     
    I'm not a risk analyst, but I suspect nuclear plants reflect the greater history of malfunctions!
    9 Jul 2014, 01:22 PM Reply Like
  • Joe Lunchbox
    , contributor
    Comments (658) | Send Message
     
    The problem with nuclear is that one event anywhere can shut down the whole industry. The tsunami in Japan had an adverse effect on nuclear power here in the US while they analyzed the causes and effects and corrective actions. And Three Mile Island had an adverse effect on nuclear power as well, causing big changes in the way business is conducted.

     

    Nuclear power is a great source of electricity. I used to operate a nuclear power plant, so I know. But, it doesn't take much to make the whole industry react.

     

    Natural gas is affected by price and availability. Also, it's my understanding that natural gas units require a lot of maintenance. They are great for quick startups and helping meet peak demand, but I don't think they're designed for continuous use.

     

    The bottom line is that coal is always there and always dependable, and we have coal running out our ears. A good portfolio would have a big percentage of coal generation figured in.
    9 Jul 2014, 04:39 PM Reply Like
  • ephud
    , contributor
    Comments (4213) | Send Message
     
    Joe

     

    "The problem with nuclear is that one event anywhere can shut down the whole industry"

     

    I don't know of any event that shut down the entire industry, but Three Mile Island and Fukushima nuclear shutdown, neither of which resulted in a fatality, certainly gave rise to unwarranted hysteria.
    9 Jul 2014, 06:59 PM Reply Like
  • 125
    , contributor
    Comments (18) | Send Message
     
    Check out Sothern Co cost of adding nuclear and the time delays for putting it online. Gas at it's highest was still cheaper.
    9 Jul 2014, 05:59 PM Reply Like
  • Joe Lunchbox
    , contributor
    Comments (658) | Send Message
     
    You can also look at TVA. I think Watts Bar Unit 1 (started around 1972 and completed around 1995) must hold some kind of record.
    9 Jul 2014, 06:54 PM Reply Like
  • ephud
    , contributor
    Comments (4213) | Send Message
     
    125

     

    "Gas at it's highest was still cheaper"

     

    If CO2 becomes more of a consideration then the price differential may not matter.
    9 Jul 2014, 07:01 PM Reply Like
  • crazty4tennis
    , contributor
    Comments (1191) | Send Message
     
    Great stock, dividend. Long D.
    9 Jul 2014, 09:10 PM Reply Like
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