Power protestors recall Fukushima disaster

Posted at 2:25 PM, Mar 11, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-11 14:25:07-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - Protestors held a march and rally outside Dominion Virginia Power headquarters on Cary Street in Richmond on Monday to mark the second anniversary of the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan.

Protestors said they hoped to raise awareness of the dangers of nuclear energy and encourage Dominion to invest in safer renewable energy sources.

"The land is moving," Erica Gray, with Nuclear Free Virginia, said in reference to recent Virginia earthquakes. "There is no way to safely store the nuclear waste either for thousands and thousands of years, and this is the legacy we are leaving our children. This is not right."

In response to the rally, Dominion released the following statement:

Nuclear-generated electricity is safe, reliable, carbon-free and Dominion Virginia Power’s lowest cost source of energy. It is vital to Virginia’s economy because the company’s four nuclear units operate 24 hours, 7 days a week to keep the lights on.

About 40 percent of electricity used by our 2.4 million customers is generated by our North Anna and Surry power stations, located in Louisa County and Surry County, respectively. Both stations combined provide electricity for about 900,000 homes.

These stations are very robust and designed with multiple layers of safety to protect employees and the public. They were engineered to withstand natural events, such as hurricanes, tornados and earthquakes. The August 23, 2011, 5.8 magnitude earthquake central Virginia earthquake, which shut both units down, did not cause any functional damage to the station. Both units continue to operate safely and reliably to provide electricity to our customers.

 Since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident in Japan two years ago today, Dominion has incorporated many of the lessons learned from that event, and purchased additional equipment that could be used to provide an additional layer of safety beyond the safety features already in place. This equipment includes debris removal equipment and pumps that can be used provide additional water to the nuclear units, if necessary, to cool the reactors.