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Sempra Acquires 78-MW Wind Project in Minnesota

LCG, April 24, 2015-Sempra U.S. Gas & Power yesterday announced that it has acquired the Black Oak Getty wind project in Sterns County, Minnesota from Geronimo Energy, LLC, a wind and solar energy developer. Construction is scheduled to begin in spring 2016, and the project is expected be in commercial operation late next year.

Dominion Announces Plans to Close All Ash Ponds in Virginia

LCG, April 21, 2015--Dominion Virginia Power recently announced plans to close all of the ash ponds at its Virginia power stations in compliance with standards established by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) new Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) rules. Coal ash is the substance remaining after coal is burned to generate electricity. Under the EPA rules, fly ash has been determined to be a non-hazardous material.

Industry News

NRC Approves Rule to Amend AP1000 Nuclear Reactor Design

LCG, December 26, 2011--The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Wednesday voted to approve a rule that certifies an amended version of Westinghouse's AP1000 reactor design for use in the United States. NRC certification, in the form of a final rule, means the design meets the NRC's applicable safety requirements.

The NRC will make the rule immediately effective once it is published in the Federal Register, which is expected to be published within seven business days of the vote. The application to amend the 1,100-MW, electric pressurized-water reactor with passive safety features was submitted by Westinghouse on May 27, 2007.

NRC Chairman Gregory B. Jaczko stated, "The Commission is able to reach this final step in approving the amended AP1000 reactor design due to the staff?s dedicated work ensuring the design meets NRC's safety requirements. The design provides enhanced safety margins through use of simplified, inherent, passive, or other innovative safety and security functions, and also has been assessed to ensure it could withstand damage from an aircraft impact without significant release of radioactive materials."

The NRC received the original AP1000 plant design from Westinghouse back in March 2002, and the NRC issued a rule certifying the design on January 27, 2006.

The NRC is now reviewing six Combined Construction and Operating License (COL) applications that reference the amended AP1000 design. Southern Company, one of the leading applicants, is developing two AP1000 reactors at Plant Vogtle in Georgia. Southern Nuclear, a Southern Company subsidiary that operates Plant Vogtle's two existing nuclear units, is overseeing construction on the $14 billion project. Southern Nuclear is working under a Limited Work Authorization permit (since 2009) that allows for certain safety-related construction activities. Southern Nuclear will also operate the two new units. Southern expects commercial operations of the two new nuclear units to commence in 2016 and 2017, respectively.




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