Dominion announced today that they will be closing and decommissioning the Kewaunee nuclear plant in Wisconsin. The plant will likely stop production in Q2 2013.
Dominion acquired the plant in 2005, and received a licence renewal for the plant that is good until 2033. Dominion has been looking to sell the plant since April 2011, but clearly no able buyer came forward. Originally the company had planned to operate more nuclear plants in the Midwest and combine resources to cut costs. That never happened, so the Keqaunee plant has become unprofitable for Dominion to maintain.
Despite the fact that Dominion did not cite regulatory costs as a reason for the shutdown, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker released a statement blaming the White House, the EPA, and the Federal Government for over regulating the nuclear industry.
Governor Walker may have missed the mark, but the shutdown of a working nuclear plant that had the potential for a long period of service is a worrying trend. Despite improvements in efficiency, energy demand is certain to continue growing, and it remains difficult to certify new plants (both from an economic and regulatory perspective).
Dominion To Close, Decommission Kewaunee Power Station (Dominion)
Dominion Resources to close Kewaunee, Wis., nuclear power plant after failing to find buyer (Washington Post)
Kewaunee Power Station (Wikipedia)
Also, this is my 100th post on JECEBlog. I expect cake.