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Nuclear Regulatory Commission rejects plan to modify rebar in Plant Vogtle's Unit 3 reactor

Saturday, July 14, 2012 3:45 PM
Last updated 7:59 PM
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A proposal to modify – rather than replace – non-conforming rebar in the foundation of Plant Vogtle’s Unit 3 reactor is unacceptable, according to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The issue first surfaced in April, when federal inspectors determined the manner in which pieces of rebar were connected differs from specifications approved for the Westinghouse AP1000 reactors being built at the Burke County site.

A notice of violation was issued in May, after which Southern Nuclear proposed modifying the rebar that was already in place.

However, in a letter dated Friday to Southern Nuclear executives, NRC Construction Branch Chief Kathleen O’Donohue said the submitted design revision “does not meet the current licensing basis” and “is not in conformance with code requirements” for the project.

Company officials are evaluating other options to resolve the rebar issue, which involves material placed in Unit 3’s “basemat” area that forms the “nuclear island” upon which the reactor and other components will rest.

“The company understands the NRC’s position and a license amendment request will be submitted for the nuclear island basemat/rebar design,” Southern Co. spokesman Steve Higginbottom said in an e-mailed response to questions about the ruling.

Such an amendment, if approved by the NRC, could alter the design specifications to include the rebar now deemed non-compliant, thus avoiding delays or added costs associated with removing and replacing the material.

Both the cost and the construction schedule for the $14 billion project have garnered attention from the Georgia Public Service Commission because of its potential impact on ratepayers.

In May, it was revealed through a Securities Exchange Commission filing that Southern Co. subsidiary Georgia Power and other Plant Vogtle owners are disputing proposed adjustments that could add $900 million to the project. The price increases were proposed by the contractor consortium that includes Westinghouse and Stone & Webster Inc.

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nevertoolate
291
Points
nevertoolate 07/14/12 - 04:49 pm
2
0
Sounds like Shaw screwed

Sounds like Shaw screwed up...again.

dwb619
90956
Points
dwb619 07/14/12 - 05:35 pm
2
1
China

Insider info claims re-bar was fabbed in China, not to design drawings, and not up to tensile strength requirements.

Jake
32296
Points
Jake 07/14/12 - 06:39 pm
3
0
Ref China

Then they should not have accepted and used it.

Little Lamb
45276
Points
Little Lamb 07/14/12 - 07:52 pm
1
0
No winking on this one

This project will not be like the good ole boy projects from the 70s and 80s. Southern will have to insist that Shaw and other contractors get their acts together and keep their paperwork straight.

exmox
5
Points
exmox 07/15/12 - 11:18 am
1
0
arrogant shaw

I have worked for shaw and with shaw for years. They have proved to me, over the years, of one thing. They think they are above everyone. They will screw whoever it takes to make money. Their promises are empty. I still do work for them because the money is good. They have taken shortcuts everywhere they work. Sometimes they get caught, like at Mox and Vogtle, other times, not. Everyone affected by Mox and Vogtle will be paying more then they were originally quoted, and us taxpayers will pick up the tab, as always. And nothing will be done.

nevertoolate
291
Points
nevertoolate 07/15/12 - 01:07 pm
1
0
Yep, Shaw's Quality Control

Yep, Shaw's Quality Control inspectors who are supposed to be inspecting each and every piece of rebar that comes in on a shipment apparently weren't doing their job that day. I worked for Shaw too, exmox and like you, I'm exmox as well. Everything you say is true, and then more to boot! The bloat and cash grabbing going on out at MOX is sickening.

killemwithkindness
3
Points
killemwithkindness 07/15/12 - 10:44 pm
1
0
Greater Ramifications

The continued demonstration of incompetence attacks the credibility of everyone involved. At this point, there is very little to be proud of here. Management's lack of concern for the public's perspective of this job is reason for concern. At what point do we consider the ramifications these hiccups have on our local and national economies? The potential for many more expansions is there. Shouldn't we endeavor to court the expertise needed to complete this job successfully?

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