Louisa County, VA
In September 2003, Dominion Nuclear North Anna, LLC applied to expand the North Anna Nuclear Power Station, in Louisa County, VA by requesting a 20-year Early Site Permit (ESP) from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). On May 31, 2017, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission authorized the issuance of a Combined License for North Anna. The license grants permission to build and operate an Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR) design at the site. On September 6, 2017, Dominion Energy paused development activities on North Anna Unit 3.
Jan. 28, 2015: Contrary to federal law, the required environmental reviews for nuclear power stations proposed by Dominion in Louisa, VA, Duke Energy in Gaffney, SC and a half dozen others omit any reference to the NRC’s recently issued irradiated nuclear fuel storage analysis. Instead, they are directed to environmental analyses that have been outdated; or worse, vacated by the U.S. Court of Appeals for failure to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act. Our petitions call for a full environmental assessment of the safety and public health risks of long term storage at the reactor sites.
April 9, 2014: From the reply of BREDL to the NRC and the power company, quoting Emerson:
March 2014: After the Virginia earthquake in 2011, BREDL filed new objections to a third nuke at North Anna. After two-years of additional analysis, Dominion-Virginia Power still seems to be unable to build a new plant without departures, exemptions and variances from federal environmental and safety regulations. The company’s inability to meet standards is at the crux of our motion to reopen the license challenge.
North Anna Draft VPDES Permit.
March 2014: The League has requested Virginia Dept. of Environmental Quality hold a Public Hearing on the Draft VPDES Permit. Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit is a permit that is required to discharge pollutants into surface waters from a point source.
Feb. 27, 2014: Our motion to stay petitions the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission to suspend reactor licensing decisions while the agency considers new information on the environmental impacts of used radioactive fuel storage in reactor pools. This new information was detailed in the Consequence Study of a Beyond-Design-Basis Earthquake Affecting the Spent Fuel Pool for a U.S. Mark I Boiling Water Reactor, Oct. 9, 2013. The NRC Staff found that if even a small fraction of the inventory of the Peach Bottom reactor pool were released to the environment in a severe spent fuel pool accident, an average area of 9,400 square miles would be rendered uninhabitable, and that 4.1 million people would be displaced over the long-term. And the NRC concluded for the first time that the likelihood of spent fuel pool fires could be affected by reactor accidents.
Feb. 27, 2014: Today the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League filed a legal challenge to require a full federal analysis of storage of irradiated fuel at the North Anna nuclear power plant. The petition demands that NRC do a complete environmental impact statement on the effects of accidents and leakage on public health and environment. The League also filed challenges at two other power plants in Alabama and Tennessee.
Licensing Board regarding North Anna
July 13, 2012: Quoting the Japanese investigation: Although triggered by these cataclysmic events, the subsequent accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant cannot be regarded as a natural disaster. It was a profoundly manmade disaster – that could and should have been foreseen and prevented.
The July 9 motions to reopen and motions for leave to file a new argument (or “contention”) are legal steps necessary to hold certain electric power company’s feet to the nuclear fire. These actions follow the recent federal Court of Appeals order striking down the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s patently ridiculous “Waste Confidence Decision,” which should now be enshrined in Blackstone’s dictionary along with other “legal fictions.”
June 22, 2012: The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League and its chapter Peoples Alliance for Clean Energy petition the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for review of its decision to close the record for the North Anna Unit 3 license proceeding.
Oct. 31, 2011: The glacial pace of the NRC’s safety and security procedures appears to be wholly unresponsive to reality, which threatens to undermine both the agency’s authority and the safety of the plants it licenses. During the last three years we have seen both nuclear and financial meltdowns. Heedless of events, the NRC continues to gamble with sub-prime safety codes and horizontal acceleration default swaps.
Oct. 31, 2011: Today the Virginia Supreme Court will hold oral arguments on Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League’s appeal of an environmental permit for Dominion-Virginia Power’s North Anna nuclear power station.
Oct. 20, 2011: Shirking and sharking, in all their many varieties, have been sown broadcast by the ill-fated cause; and even those who have contemplated its history from the outermost circle of such evil, have been insensibly tempted into a loose way of letting bad things alone to take their own bad course, and a loose belief that if the world go wrong, it was, in some off-hand manner, never meant to go right.
The History of Dominion-Virginia Power's Seismic Cover-up
The North Anna nuclear power plant is on unstable ground. The potential danger of an earthquake in central Virginia was brought to the attention of regulators by the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League in 2005. Our investigative report reveals the events which led to the building of nuclear reactors in an active earthquake zone.
March 18, 2011: Dominions Federal Consistency Certification
application asserts that the addition of a third water-cooled
nuclear reactor would have no impact on Lake Anna. This is pure
Dec. 15, 2010: Today the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League
announced that Virginias highest court has agreed to hear
their appeal of a Dominion-Virginia Power permit.
Nov. 4, 2010: Contentions One and Two present significant
public safety and environmental impact issues to the Atomic
Safety and Licensing Board. As detailed in this legal brief,
there is a significant and genuine dispute between Blue Ridge
Environmental Defense League and the NRC Staff and Dominion.
Change in reactor design forces new hearings
June 18: Lou Zeller, representative for the
League, said, Dominions switching of reactor
technology is like altering the foundation after the walls are
up. He said that the switch this late in licensing the
plant would make it difficult to regulate. Zeller added, The
Commission may lack the regulatory duck tape to piece it
together. He drew a comparison of the US Nuclear Regulatory
Commission with the Interior Department's Minerals Management
Service, the agency which oversees offshore oil drilling and
which became too accommodating to its licensees.
Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League v. the
Commonwealth of Virginia
Jan. 26, 2010: BREDL's brief filed on Jan 19 regarding Dominion-Virginia Power's appeal in Circuirt Court. The Dominion-Virginia Appeal is of the February 2009 Virginia Circuit Court's decision that ruled state agencies violated federal law and revoked the water quality permit for the North Anna nuclear station.
Dec. 19, 2009: For over a year, the Atomic Safety
and Licensing Board judges have allowed our intervention to
proceed. Our argument that the power company has little or no
plan for what to do with its radioactive waste is still not
adequately addressed. In November the Atomic Safety and Licensing
Board agreed that Blue Ridge Environmental Defense Leagues
position that Dominion-Virginia Powers radioactive waste
storage plan needs further study. Unhappy with the ruling,
Dominion filed a motion for the Board to take a second look,
called reconsideration. But Dominions Motion for
Reconsideration sets up a straw man argument. Our answer to
Dominion was filed on December 17. The judges could rule at any
June 26, 2009: BREDL files amended Contention Ten
regarding the application for a combined operating and
construction license filed by Dominion Virginia Power. In order
to meet its goal to assure NRC that there is space to store Class
B and C radioacive waste material for ten years, Dominion
Virginia Power has reduced its capacity for storage of Class A
material from 6 months to 3 months. This is simply "Robbing
Peter to pay Paul." View BREDL Amended Contention Ten
March 10, 2009: Yesterday in a
flurry of legal activity the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense
League filed new arguments opposing nuclear reactor licenses in
Virginia, South Carolina and Alabama. The League acted because of
the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's failure to recognize that
high-level radioactive waste storage would pose significant
environmental risks at proposed nuclear power plants at TVA's
Bellefonte, Duke Energy's WS Lee and Dominion Virginia Power's
North Anna stations. Read BREDL Press Release
League and Lake Residents Overturn Dominion Nuke Permit
Feb. 20, 2009: Today a Virginia court in Richmond ruled that
state agencies violated federal law and that the water quality
permit for Dominion-Virginia Power's North Anna nuclear station
is revoked. Read
BREDL Press Release | Background information | Transcript of Judge's Ruling
On September 14, 2009 the Virginia Circuit Court judge issued her
Order stating that Virginia's State Water Control Board
wrongly allowed Dominion-Virginia Power to use part of Lake Anna
as it's private waste lagoon. The Order finalizes the court's
February 20 oral ruling and enters it into law. The decision
means that the company's North Anna nuclear power plants may not
continue to dump heated water into the lake unregulated and the
state must now develop a permit which complies with the federal
Clean Water Act. The Order
Denying Appellees Joint Motion for Stay is another win for
BREDL because the judge rejected the motion by the state and the
company to suspend, or "stay," the effect of judge's
ruling. The filing of the Final Order also sets the clock in
motion for appeals. Stay tuned!
On Thursday morning, December 18th, the
Blue Ridge Environmental Defense Leagues appeal of the
Dominion-Virginia Power North Anna permit will be argued in
Richmond Circuit Court. More Details: Read BREDL Press Advisory
On August 25, 2008, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense
League filed a motion to reconsider with the US Nuclear
Regulatory Commission in the Dominion Virginia Power licensing
case. We have one legal argument, or contention, which has been
accepted by the judges, but we think the NRC should do more.
Hence, this motion. Also, we have formalized our opposition to
oral arguments which were held on the telephone. BREDL Motion
The judges of the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board have granted a hearing to the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League on CONTENTION ONE: Dominion Lacks a Realistic Low-level Radioactive Waste Plan. The ASLB order issued August 15, 2008 states:
On April 28, 2008 the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League
requested that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission grant a new
deadline for the filing of petitions for leave to intervene. (BREDL
request) This motion is based on an inadequate Notice of
Hearing and Opportunity to Petition for Leave to Intervene
published in the Federal Register. Dominion-Virginia Power
responded to us two days later (Dominion Reply) and
the NRC held to its deadline.
The June 3 replies from NRC and Dominion respond to our May 9th
petition and uniformly oppose all our arguments. (NRC response |
) In turn, we sent our reply to Dominion and NRC on June 11th. (BREDL
On June 20th, the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board issued an
order directing BREDL, and other the parties to focus the
argument upon BREDLs first, second, and third contentions.
The Board said they were "not interested in hearing argument
concerning the remaining contentions." (ASLB Order)
BREDL objected and replied to the judges' order on June 30. (BREDL
Reply) The Board was unresponsive and held the hearing via
telephone conference on July 2nd.
July 1, 2008: The Nuclear
Regulatory Commission is holding oral arguments for the nation's
first adjudicatory hearing on a nuclear power plant construction
and operating license behind closed doors. The nuclear plant is
the proposed North Anna Nuclear Power Station Unit #3 in
Virginia. Despite our request for a face-to-face hearing in
Charlottesville, the judges are holding the oral arguments via
telephone conference call. The judges' decision has implications
for the licenses to follow in South Carolina, North Carolina,
Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama and nationwide because this is the
first permitting process for new nuclear power plant license
since the rules were re-written in 1989. We think it sets a bad
precedent. In the past, such hearings were held near the
community where a proposed facility was to be located, at a place
where residents, officials and the media could attend. Read BREDL's Complaint
May 16, 2008: BREDL scoping comments on EIS for third nuclear
reactor at the North Anna nuclear power plant. BREDL
May 2008: The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League and its Virginia chapter the Peoples Alliance for Clean Energy have filed to halt construction of a third nuclear reactor at the North Anna nuclear power plant. The petition raises eight major issues: Dominion lacks a realistic radioactive waste plan, Unit 3 would be located on top of a geological fault, the plants cooling system will violate water quality standards, the plant will not adequately limit radioactive emissions to the atmosphere, uranium is an unreliable fuel source, the license would violate the protections of due process and equal protection, irradiated fuel would remain on site, and the plant would be a target for terrorist attacks.
Lou Zeller, the Leagues legal representative, said that Dominion covered up evidence of a geologic fault in the 1970s and now they want a variance because they cannot meet safety standards. Zeller said, Fool us once, shame on you; fool us twice, shame on us.
The League plans to press the seismic issue and other safety and environmental problems created by the proposed third reactor.
Elena Day of PACE said, New nuclear reactors at North Anna would be irresponsible because the water situation is critical. The growing population in this area and the ongoing drought will only exacerbate the situation.
Do You Live 50 miles from the North Anna Nuclear Plant?
Dominion-Virginia Power has submitted an application to add a
third nuclear power plant at its North Anna Nuclear Station in
northern Virginia. The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League is
challenging this permit for health and safety reasons. If you are
within the 50-mile zone, you may join in this effort.
On April 28, 2008 the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League
filed a legal motion with the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission to
postpone deadlines for the North Anna Power Station construction
and operation license. Dominion Virginia Power plans to add a
third nuclear reactor at its plant in central Virginia.
Jan. 2, 2008: On Friday, December 28th, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League filed a petition against the Virginia's approval of a water permit for the North Anna nuclear power station (NAPS) located near Charlottesville.
Dec. 5, 2007: Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League and the
Peoples Alliance for Clean Energy have filed a Notice of Appeal
to Virginia Department of Environmental Quality regarding
reissuance of VPDES (Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination
System) Permit for Dominion-North Anna Power Station. BREDL Press Release
| Notice of Appeal
Aug. 02, 2007: BREDL comments to Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality on the NPDES permit for North Anna nuclear
power station. Excerpt: "Unless and until the DEQ can assure
that thermal discharges from Dominion-Virginia Powers North
Anna plant will not exceed the maximum hourly temperature changes
in Lake Anna, it cannot issue a VPDES permit." Read Lou
April 19, 2007: BREDL
Limited appearance statements before the Nuclear Regulatory
Commission in the matter of the Dominion Nuclear North Anna, LLC
Early Site Permit. - The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission Unless
must assess the impact of terrorist attacks on radioactive fuel
storage at Dominion-Virginia Power's North Anna nuclear power
plant and provide for protective measures. Recent decisions by
the US Court of Appeals and the US Supreme Court hold that
environmental impact statements for nuclear facilities should
explicitly address potential environmental consequences of
intentional destructive acts; that is, acts of sabotage and
July 25, 2006: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has posted a national forecast of new nuclear reactor licensing activities for 2006 - 2008. The NRC issues updates on nuclear power reactor licensing issues every six months.
March 16, 2006: Nuclear
Power Licensing Factsheet - One-Step
Licensing of Nuclear Plants Short-circuits Safety
Oct. 25, 2005: Read BREDL's Oct.
25 letter to Virginia DEQ | View Map
Attachment to letter
Dominion-Virginia Power is attempting to
mischaracterize the permit in an attempt to limit
the scope of the state's required coastal zone
review. Dominion states that the existing power
plant and the proposed nuclear site permit
(ESP-Early Site Permit) are not located within
Virginias Coastal Zone. However, North Anna
Power Station is, indeed, within the Virginia
coastal zone which includes Spotsylvania
Countys portion of Lake Anna. Dominion
downplays the permit's impacts. But activity
permitted by the ESP would include major
construction including clearing and grading for
roads; construction of warehouses, utilities and
concrete mixing plants; excavations for facility
structures; sewage treatment plants; and intake
and discharge structures, water lines, and
cooling towers. Finally, Dominions
certification is inconsistent with the National
Environmental Policy Act, which requires
consideration of cumulative impacts and connected
actions. The ESP permit and the pending Combined
License are connected actions as
defined in the Council on Environmental Quality
regulations at 40 CFR 1508.7.
Sept. 01, 2005: Read BREDL letter
to Nuclear Regulatory Commission On February 17, 2005 at a Nuclear
Regulatory Commission public hearing, a man who
identified himself as an employee of
Dominion-Virginia Power falsely accused the Blue
Ridge Environmental Defense League of misusing
public health data. His allegations not only have
no basis in fact, they do nothing to alter our
conclusion that deaths increased significantly
after Dominion's nuclear reactors began
operation. In this letter the League demonstrates
why the allegations are false and asks the NRC
for further investigations into death and disease
in the communities around the North Anna nuclear
March 01, 2005: BREDL comments on Draft
Environmental Impact Statement for North Anna
Early Site Permit
Feb. 17, 2005 Rally and NRC Public Hearing: Action Alert and more details.
RALLY AGAINST NEW LICENSING for NUKES at NORTH
ANNA, Thursday, February 17, 2005, 6:00 pm Louisa
County Middle School, 1009 Davis Highway,
Mineral, VA. This rally precedes the Nuclear
Regulatory Commission's (NRC) hearing scheduled
for 7:00 pm concerning a site permit for two new
reactors at North Anna nuclear power station in
Louisa County in Central VA.
October 5, 2004: Table slides (in 2 .pdf files below) detailing actual radioactive releases to the air and water from Dominion/Virginia Power's North Anna nuclear station, and the high rates of mortality in the area within 30 miles of the North Anna reactors located near Charlottesville, VA.
Release: DEATH RATES INCREASED AFTER
NORTH ANNA STARTUP - Group Calls for
Comprehensive Health Study
June 26, 2004: North Anna information slides
(First new reactors in 25 years, Facts
about North Anna, What's wrong with nuclear power
and proposed expansion?, Timeline for expansion)
May 03, 2004: BREDL, NIRS, Public Citizen
contentions filed before the Atomic Safety and
Licensing Board regarding Early Site Permit
application for North Anna Nuclear Power Plant
site, Louisa County, VA
April 9, 2004: Pictures taken at the March 25,
2004 rallies in Louisa County and
Charlottesville, Virginia which were held in
support of the BE SAFE Anti-nuclear Days of
Action. PACE, People's Alliance for Clean Energy,
organized the events with help from the Blue
Ridge Environmental Defense League to commemorate
the 25th anniversary of the Three Mile Island
nuclear meltdown and to prevent new nuclear
plants from being constructed by Dominion
Virginia Power on Lake Anna. View Pictures
March 24, 2004: Factsheet:
Three Mile Island 25 years later, TMI facts -
Three Mile Island VA?
March 24, 2004: Factsheet: Nuclear Waste
transport to Nevada? - Don't Bet the Farm on it
Feb. 27, 2004: Factsheet: North Anna - New
Nuclear Power Plants in Virginia?