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Vogtle reactor vessel slips between Savannah, Burke County

Incident won't cause delay, official says

Special
Workers examine a rail car that was transporting a 300-ton reactor vessel from the port of Savannah to the Plant Vogtle nuclear site in Burke County. A misalignment between the cargo platform and the rail car caused the component to be returned to Savannah.
Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013 1:23 PM
Last updated Friday, Jan. 11, 2013 1:32 AM
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A 300-ton reactor vessel bound for Plant Vogtle was stranded briefly in south Georgia this week after a malfunction with the specially designed rail car moving the nuclear component from Savannah to Burke County.

“The platform that contained the RV (reactor vessel) during transport became misaligned with the Schnabel railcar, so the railcar stopped immediately,” said Georgia Power Co. spokesman Mark Williams. “The platform and car were realigned the same day and safely returned to the port.”

The Schnabel railcar, which features extra axles that help distribute and support the weight of heavy objects, did not break, he said. Georgia Power officials said the malfunction occurred less than a mile from the port of Savannah.

The steel vessel, which weighs more than the Statue of Liberty, was built in South Korea and took three years to complete. It left aboard a transport ship that took the component to the Port of Savannah.

There was no damage to the reactor vessel or to the rail car, Williams said, and the incident will not result in delays.

Plant Vogtle is undergoing a $14 billion expansion that involves building two new Westinghouse AP-1000 reactors.

The new units were scheduled to go into service in 2016 and 2017, but contractors have said they could be delayed by a year or more. Williams said work is being done with contractors to determine a date.

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Little Lamb
46971
Points
Little Lamb 01/10/13 - 03:51 pm
1
0
No Delay

One little delay here, one little delay there, pretty soon, you're talking real money.

grinder48
2017
Points
grinder48 01/10/13 - 04:03 pm
0
0
South Korea
Unpublished

So now we have to manufacture our reactors in South Korea? What a shame! But it's OK though, since we have zero unemployment here in the US ...

SCEagle Eye
921
Points
SCEagle Eye 01/10/13 - 04:24 pm
1
0
what a mess!

Uh oh, sounds like a real problem. A monster goof up. Don't they have slide rules to calculate stress and know how to use them?! It smells fishy that the the Georgia Power guy says there will be no delay in moving the vessel. Sounds like they may be bringing in cranes and a different car.

griff6035
4093
Points
griff6035 01/10/13 - 06:04 pm
3
0
No Damage

If there was no damage, why did they return the vessel to Savannah.

atom.girl
19
Points
atom.girl 01/10/13 - 07:56 pm
2
1
Sneaky Power Company

Thanks to the anonymous photographer who brought this December 15 snafu to the light of day. I hope the 300-ton reactor vessel doesn't snap the special crane at Vogtle a la the Macy's Christmas tree which crashed through the men's dept. in Atlanta.

hevilift
5
Points
hevilift 01/10/13 - 08:04 pm
3
0
Slipped?

The rail car is rated at 880 tons, how does a 300 ton reactor "slip" in a car thats rated capacity is 580 tons more than the load weighs.And rail cars don't go nose down on the tracks when something "slips" Something failed, either the car, the frame holding the reactor, the pins, or the hydraulics

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 01/11/13 - 05:13 am
2
1
Don't worry, they'll pass all

Don't worry, they'll pass all of the costs along to the ratepayers. It won't cost the executives or the shareholders a dime.

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 01/11/13 - 08:03 am
4
0
Looks like a series or

Clearly looks like a series of mistakes lead to a load failure.

Having done NDT on R1 back in the 1980's.
I totally agree the vessel needed to go back to Savannah, if only for MP, UT, LPT, RT & NDT inspections.

I also have to agree it is amazing suspicious how quiet this was kept from the general public?

bubbasauce
22130
Points
bubbasauce 01/11/13 - 10:10 am
2
1
Unbelievable! Not really

Unbelievable! Not really surprising at all with today's totally incompetent workforce. Another drug test is in order!

KasparHauser
364
Points
KasparHauser 01/11/13 - 01:46 pm
0
0
We'll Do Better This Time!.... Yeah, RIIGHT!
Unpublished

Let's see, foundation issue and rebar issues, neither of which should have ever occurred given the track record and the official 'lessons learned' from decades ago the last time the clowns in the utility world tried to spell nucular. And, now they drop the RPV in an evolution that should be the LAST ONE that has an "Oops!" involved.

Worked at a plant that dropped the RPV head off it's cribbing back in the good ole days, and it looks like nothing has changed.

Sounds like the ratepayers are gonna get screwed to the wall AGAIN by the traveling nuclear circus.'

KasparHauser
364
Points
KasparHauser 01/11/13 - 01:49 pm
0
1
Price of OOPS!
Unpublished

Hope these costs all come up for review by the PUC.

SCEagle Eye
921
Points
SCEagle Eye 01/11/13 - 02:35 pm
2
0
reactor tumbles into gator swamp?

The Shaw/Westinghouse/Georgia Power crew must be nervous as heck about putting the reactor vessel back onto a supposedly robust rail car that broke and shuttling it down a railroad line that isn't accessible in many places. The gators down in Ebenezer Swamp may get a rude awakening if a bridge collapses or the car breaks on their home turf. What guarantee can thy give the RR company that this won't happen again?

atom.girl
19
Points
atom.girl 01/11/13 - 08:00 pm
2
0
Keep your head up

Thanks to the diligence of Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and others, Southern Company was denied permission to dredge the Savannah River to barge the reactor vessel to Vogtle as they initially envisioned. Since nearly a month (word from Nuclear Regulatory Commission is that this happened December 15!) has passed it's likely the power boys are trying to resurrect the barge plan. Gotta wonder how the railbed will hold up for the load, and even if the reactor vessel makes the journey, what condition will it LEAVE the rail bed in for future use?

SCEagle Eye
921
Points
SCEagle Eye 01/12/13 - 01:54 pm
2
0
something fishy here

Something's really fishy here, as in I smell a big lie coming from a very embarrassed Georgia Power. According to the article, the Georgia Power Co. spokesman Mark Williams said: "There was no damage to the reactor vessel or to the rail car...and the incident will not result in delays." Hold on, this doesn't fit with the facts. The incident evidently happened on December 15, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission itself, but the GA Power PR guy claimed on January 10 that there were no delays?! How do you spell BOGUS? The reactor's been stranded almost a month, dude! So, Georgia Power, stop covering up this debacle and speak the truth (if that is even remotely possible) about what's up with the derailed plans.

LarryW4CSC
4
Points
LarryW4CSC 01/23/13 - 11:23 pm
0
0
Plant Vogtle Nuclear Disaster Zone

Hello all from the Plant Vogtle Nuclear Disaster Zone, aka Charleston, 100 miles downwind from the meltdown. Thanks to the keen-eyed antinukes for this information. Not a word was heard, here.

Next rain storm from the SW to NW, wipe off the top of your car with a clean paper towel and put it under a sensitive geiger counter. A sq meter wipe here in Charleston nets from 600 to 1900 counts per minute. Off the ocean, the rain is clean. Ask yourselves why.....

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