NRC to discuss Plant Vogtle nuclear plant performance, construction

Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) officials have scheduled an open house for April 18 to provide information on the agency’s assessment of the two operating units at the Alvin W. Vogtle nuclear power plant during 2012. The NRC will also provide a presentation on the agency’s inspection of construction activities for the two new Vogtle units.

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, is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in the same auditorium and will be followed by a question and answer session.

The Vogtle plant is located near Waynesboro, about 26 miles southeast of Augusta. It is operated by Southern Nuclear Operating Co.

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. “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.”

Routine inspections are carried out by the NRC resident inspectors assigned to the plant and by inspection specialists from the Region II office in Atlanta.

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.

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