Thursday, September 22, 2011

Moving Forward

With all the chaos that has abounded from the Fukushima Daiichi accident, the public outcry has been overpowering. The idea of new power reactor ventures has been hit hard. Citizen organizations opposed to reactor licensing have become much more active. Despite this hostile climate the NRC completed its technical reviews for the Westinghouse Electric Company’s AP1000 pressurized water reactor in early August.. This is great news for the Vogtle-3 and -4 reactors.

Before the Fukushima Daiichi incident both the Vogtle -3 and -4 reactors were nearing the final stages of pre-construction preparations. Only the safety review remained, but this review could not be finished until the final safety report was issued. Due to costumer requests, the design was amended. The NRC decided the changed were significant enough to bring about a new review process. The increased concern and activity from citizen organizations opposed to nuclear power has slowed the certification process of the AP1000. However, recently the NRC staff informed Westinghouse Electric Company and commissioners that the AP1000 licensing could be issued in January. Hopefully the amended AP1000 design will be certified in February and safety related construction can begin shortly afterwards. This is a definite movement in the right direction. This progress in certification and construction is good news for not only the AP1000 but for the future of nuclear power ventures in the current climate.

You can check out the applications online at Vogtle

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