Dominion to Shut Down Wisconsin Nuke Plant

The lack of interest in nuclear power generation in the United States continues to grow. Today, Dominion Resources Inc. (NYSE: D) announced that it will stop producing power at its 556-megawatt Kewaunee nuclear generating plant in Carlton, Wisc., in the second quarter of 2013 and begin closing down the facility. The company will take a one-time, after-tax charge of $281 million related to the closure in its third quarter, which ended in September.

Dominion has sought a buyer for the plant for the past 18 months or so. The company will meet its contractual obligations to two customers of the plant by buying power on the open market until the contracts expire in December 2013.

The Kewaunee plant began operating in 1974 and Dominion acquired it in 2005. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission renewed the plant's license in 2011 for an additional 20 years, out to 2033. That should have given the plant a new lease on life, but with few exceptions, there simply are no buyers for nuclear generation since last year's disaster in Japan.

Dominion's shares are down 0.9% at $53.01, in a 52-week range of $48.87 to $55.62.

Paul Ausick