US Nuclear Plant To Close, Too Expensive To Continue Running

Dominion Energy has announced they will voluntarily close the Kewanee nuclear plant in northern Wisconsin in early 2013. The company cited economics and the low price for electricity in the midwest as some of the reasons for closing the plant.

The plant was unable to compete and stay operating with the low electricity prices caused by the influx of natural gas. Dominion had tried to sell the plant but could not find anyone interested in buying it. The company’s contracts to sell power to two local utilities expire next year. Alliant Energy ended negotiations for a new power contract last year. Dominion purchased the plant in 2005 from the two WI utilities that now are terminating contracts to buy power from the plant.

Dominion will be responsible for decommissioning and maintaining the spent fuel in the plant. This appears to be the first time a nuclear plant has shut their doors due to lack of profitability without a big repair or upgrade cost playing a role.

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