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Energy provider Dominion will close and decommission its Kewaunee Power Station in Carlton, WS, after the company was unable to find a buyer for the 556-megawatt nuclear facility.

Pending a grid reliability review by the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator (MISO), the station should end power production in the second quarter of 2013 and move to safe shutdown.

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Dominion said it was looking to sell off Kewaunee, but the company was unable to find a buyer.

“This decision was based purely on economics,” said Thomas F. Farrell II, Dominion chairman, president and chief executive. “Dominion was not able to move forward with our plan to grow our nuclear fleet in the Midwest to take advantage of economies of scale. In addition, Kewaunee’s power purchase agreements are ending at a time of projected low wholesale electricity prices in the region. The combination of these factors makes it uneconomic for Kewaunee to continue operations.”

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Farrell said the company’s top priority will be a continued focus on safety.

“We intend to take all steps necessary to ensure the protection of the public, employees and the environment during the remaining period of power generation, as the station is shut down, and throughout the decommissioning process,” Farrell said. “We will be vigilant, and we plan to make sure the facility has the resources it needs.”

The station will remain under the oversight of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) throughout the decommissioning process.

Following station shutdown, Dominion plans to meet its obligations to the two utilities that purchase Kewaunee’s generation through market purchases until the power purchase agreements expire in December 2013.

Kewaunee Power Station, located on Lake Michigan about 35 miles southeast of Green Bay, began commercial operation in 1974. It has one Westinghouse pressurized water reactor. Dominion acquired the station in July 2005. In February 2011, the NRC renewed the station’s operating license for an additional 20 years, until 2033.

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