The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission will host an public “open house” April 18 to discuss the agency’s assessment of Plant Vogtle’s existing units 1 and 2 nuclear power reactors and also the recent inspections of construction activities for the two new Vogtle units.
The informal meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at Augusta Technical College’s Waynesboro Campus, 216 Georgia Highway 24 South in Waynesboro.
The NRC staff will be available to answer questions about the safety performance of Vogtle Units 1 and 2 as well as overall NRC oversight and inspection. A presentation on inspection and oversight of Units 3 and 4, now under construction, will begin at 7 p.m. and a question and answer session will follow.
Overall, the NRC staff concluded that Vogtle Units 1 and 2 operated safely in 2012, and there were no inspection findings or performance indicators that would cause the NRC to increase its level of oversight and inspection. Based on the plant’s performance, the NRC staff plans to continue the detailed routine or baseline inspections all nuclear power plants receive.
“The NRC inspects nuclear plants and monitors their performance on an ongoing basis,” said NRC Region II Administrator Victor McCree, in an email. “We issue inspection reports throughout the year and we hold these annual meetings near each plant to discuss our oversight and answer any questions local residents may have.”
The NRC performance review of Vogtle site construction found that, overall, Southern and its contractors conducted construction activities in compliance with NRC regulations and the conditions of the plant’s combined license. Based on that assessment, the NRC will not expand its activities beyond detailed inspections planned and currently being conducted.
Plant Vogtle, which received the commission’s fiorst-ever combined operating license in early 2012, is the first commercial nuclear plant to be built in the U.S. in decades. A second project, S.C. Electric & Gas Company’s V.C. Summer project, was licensed soon afterwards and both projects are moving forward.
The projected price of the Vogtle expansion recently rose from $14 billion to more than $14.7 billion, based on data provided to the Georgia Public Service Commission, and completion dates have been pushed from November 2016 and November 2017 to the “fourth quarter 2017 and fourth quarter 2018” for units 3 and 4, respectively.