NRC to discuss new and existing Vogtle nuclear units

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff has scheduled an open house for April 23 to discuss the safety performance in 2014 of Southern Nuclear Operating Co.’s two-unit Vogtle nuclear plant, near Waynesboro, Ga., about 26 miles southeast of Augusta. A separate meeting will follow covering the NRC inspections and the 2014 assessment for the two new units that are under construction at the same site.

The open house will begin at 6 p.m. in the Augusta Technical Campus Auditorium, 216 Highway 24 South in Waynesboro.

A letter sent from the NRC Region II office to plant officials addresses the performance of the operating units during 2014 and will serve as the basis for informal discussions during the open house.

The NRC found that the two operating Vogtle units met all NRC safety objectives in 2014. That performance means the plant will continue to receive the normal detailed NRC inspections this year. However, an apparent violation related to a shipment of radioactive waste has not been finalized and could affect the level of NRC oversight at the plant.

“NRC inspectors continually evaluate each nuclear plant’s safety, and each year we take a detailed look at that information to identify any trends and help plan future inspections,” said NRC Region II Administrator Victor McCree. “Inspection results are available throughout the year, but these annual meetings allow us to talk to local residents and answer any questions they may have.”

Current performance information for Vogtle Unit 1 and Unit 2 is available on the NRC website.

At the second public meeting, which is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in the same auditorium, the NRC staff will discuss the agency’s assessment of the construction of the two new units in 2014. The NRC has two resident inspectors for the operating units and four resident inspectors at the Vogtle construction site.