Vogtle project faces hurdles, nuclear engineer says

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Southern Nuclear's plan to add two new reactors to Plant Vogtle could face delays and cost overruns associated with design and permitting issues, according to a state-appointed monitor.

In testimony before the Georgia Public Service Commission this week, nuclear engineer William Jacobs warned that unresolved design certification issues with the AP1000 reactors that will be used at the site are among several factors that could inflate costs and create construction delays.

The $14.8 billion project's schedule is based on the assumption the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission will issue a combined operating license later this year, with construction commencing thereafter.

Units 3 and 4 would then go online in 2016 and 2017, according to Southern Nuclear.

"The company's position on the project schedule and budget is a possible outcome," Jacobs said. "However, given the extensive licensing, procurement, engineering and construction challenges that lay ahead, the first time nature of this project, and the experience to date with the consortium's inability to meet the project schedule, it is very possible that the project could come in over budget and potentially miss the commercial operation dates of April 1, 2016, and April 1, 2017, for Unit 3 and Unit 4, respectively."

Jacobs also noted that the projected date for issuing the combined operating license has slipped from November to December "and could easily slip into early 2012" in part because of issues involving the design of the reactors to be installed.

Delays in licensing, he said, would make it more of a challenge to keep the construction on schedule.

Jeff Wilson, a spokesman for Georgia Power Co., said company officials remain confident the project can proceed on schedule.

"In general, we have always held that we expect COL issuance by the end of 2011," he said. "The licensing process is proceeding at the NRC and we fully expect the issuance of a combined construction and operating license for Vogtle 3 and 4 by the end of this year."

The company is also working to manage any "cost pressures" that could affect the construction budget, he said, adding that the company will prepare and submit a formal rebuttal to the monitor's testimony.

Jacobs also noted most activities now under way at the site are "progressing well," including installation of earthen walls, water pipes and foundations.

"Overall, construction activities that are allowed under the Limited Work Authorization and not restricted due to other reasons such as late delivery of modules or stop work orders are progressing well," he said.

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to tell the truth1
to tell the truth1 06/11/11 - 07:27 am
Just another trick to justify

Just another trick to justify sucking more money out of their customers and the Public Service Commission is in sync with this, they are two peas in a pod. Just wait, in the very near future here comes another rate increase that will be granted.

TerraLovesAll 06/12/11 - 02:30 am
What is missing

What is missing here:
"engineer ... warned that unresolved design certification issues with the AP1000 reactors that will be used at the site are among several factors that could inflate costs and create construction delays..."

Isn't it obvious, the Universe is giving time for these unsuspecting humans - to learn from Japan - and back out so that future generations will not have to deal with nuclear hazards .. and for sure, nuclear waste.

In year 2036, imagine a child could be asking his grand father - "I thank you for sacrificing your spirit's freedom in working for 'money' (RIP) to ensure your kids and grand kids are fed well, BUT .. why did you not do something, when you knew FREE Energy existed? Why did you still allow technologies (aka tricknologies) that create unnecessary waste that we now have to deal with?"

Now back to 2011, visualize responsible humans doing something more than a simple post (but a good vent/start) on this news article.

Or we could wait until something similar to this:
happens in USA?

SCEagle Eye
SCEagle Eye 06/13/11 - 12:12 pm
The project will be hog tied

The project will be hog tied when the NRC's certifies the flawed AP1000 reactor and the licensing is challenged in court. That will mean no Vogtle license by the end of the year and big delays. The project never should have been begun without an NRC licrnse for the reactor design and a license for the overall project - a very, very risky strategy that could back-fire big time.

ProEnergy 06/15/11 - 06:08 pm
TerraLovesAll what are you

TerraLovesAll what are you referring to as "Free Energy"? Renewables...I hope your grand idea is not wind and solar? It would be interesting to hear how these unreliable technologies would provide the baseload generation our country requires. I'm not saying I'm a fan of nuclear, but without nuclear, coal, and large CCPP plants that provide the baseload generation there will be rolling brownouts throughout the US.

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