NRC Regulators Lisst Findings at Community Meeting

JENKINSVILLE – The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) held an open house meeting at McCrorey-Liston Elementary April 17 to discuss the performance of the Virgil C. Summer plant in Jenkinsville and oversight of the two new reactors that are under construction. A PowerPoint presentation on findings from a 2012 Unit 1 inspection was delivered during the 6 p.m. session. The 2012 inspection produced 12 “Green,” or low safety significance, findings ranging from failure to analyze a moderate energy fluid system for leakage cracks to inadequate installation of service water piping. The 12 findings were declared very low safety issues and according to James Reece, Senior Resident Inspector at V.C. Summer for Unit 1, most of the findings have been corrected and the others are in the process of being corrected. For the duration of 2013, the NRC said it will continue to conduct baseline inspections for Unit 1, which will include initial operating license examinations and plant modifications. To review the full report from NRC, you can visit www.nrc.com.

The 7 p.m. session drew a little more of a presence from the community. This session focused on the V.C. Summer units 2 and 3, which are under construction. Michael Ernstes, Chief Branch Division of Construction Projects for the NRC’s Region II office, gave an overview of the NRC Region II inspection organization structure, an overview of the construction inspection program for V.C. Summer units 2 and 3, and discussed the NRC’s 2012 annual assessment of the unit 2 and 3 construction project.

“Most of the focus at this time is on construction reactor safety, safeguards programs and operational readiness,” Ernstes said.

After the 2012 inspection, the NRC will focus on security inspection, to include drug testing and other test to aid in safety; baseline inspections; ITAAC inspections; quality assurance program inspections, to ensure the programs are strong; and vendor inspections, which will include inspecting the sites where materials are produced before being sent to Jenkinsville. Ernstes said that in the corrective action program the NRC would like to allow SCE&G to fix their own problems. There were six Green findings for the two new units in 2012. Design and engineering had one, construction and installation had four findings and one finding was in the procurement and fabrication area.

Members of the audience had several questions regarding the design and installation of rebar in the basemat, or nuclear island, at Unit 2, which delayed the pour of concrete from December of last year until March 11. Ernstes said that the issues have been resolved and that the NRC is working to ensure that problem will not happen again. The NRC will hold a public meeting on April 30 in Atlanta, Ga., to hear SCE&G’s perspective on the rebar issues.