NRC schedules meeting on Vogtle new reactors

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The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission will hold a meeting in Waynesboro, Ga., on Dec. 16 to discuss the agency’s inspection plans for limited work now underway at the Vogtle nuclear plant site in Burke County, where Southern Nuclear Operating Co. plans to build two new reactors.

The meeting is scheduled from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Augusta Technical College’s Waynesboro Campus, located at 216 Highway 24 South in Waynesboro. The meeting will begin with a brief presentation on NRC construction inspection activities related to the work at the Vogtle site over the next couple of years. NRC officials and inspectors will be available to answer questions from the public and media about the agency’s inspection plans during that time as well as provide general information about NRC inspections should the company receive a license to build the two new reactors.

Southern Nuclear Operating Co. received an Early Site Permit and Limited Work Authorization from the NRC for the Vogtle site in August, and the NRC is currently reviewing a combined operating license application for two new reactors at the site. Southern Nuclear has also filed for an additional LWA, currently being reviewed by the NRC, which would allow additional site work.

The limited work authorization now in place allows the company to move ahead with some construction activities such as engineered backfill, retaining walls, a waterproof membrane and other limited site preparation. NRC inspectors will travel from the regional office in Atlanta to inspect the activities until a construction resident inspectors’ office is opened at the site in mid-2010. The inspectors assigned to that office will continue to be augmented by region-based construction inspectors.

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