The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved a third formal license amendment allowing minor design modifications to reactors under construction at Plant Vogtle.
The amendment allows changes in the spacing of metal studs used to strengthen the bond between the metal plates and poured concrete, and the use of stronger steel in those metal plates.
Eight amendment requests have been submitted, of which five remain under evaluation.
Two previously approved amendments resolved issues with noncompliant rebar and the thickness of the reactor foundation’s concrete basemat.
Southern Co. expects to file three additional amendment requests by the year’s
end, company spokesman Mark Williams said.
The changes, he said, help illustrate the extent of efforts by the company and federal regulators to incorporate all safety and technology advancements that will improve the facility.
“NRC’s action further demonstrates that the new rigorous and transparent licensing process is working,” he said.
The $14 billion project includes adding two Westinghouse AP1000 reactors, scheduled to begin operation in 2016 and 2017.