Concrete sinking into the dirt less than two months after licensing? One license amendment already requested and dozens more to come? Does this give you confidence in Southern Company's ability to build a safe nuclear plant without huge cost overruns charged to you the Georgia Power customer or you the taxpayer?
In mid-March the nuclear industry bragged about
We discover that at the end of March Southern Company had to ask NRC for a licensing change due to construction problems. Vogtle Nuclear Construction Faces “Additional Delay” Based on Miscalculations in Foundation Concrete — News Release from NC WARN and Alliance for Nuclear Accountability—April 9th, 2012,
Less than two months after receiving a nuclear construction license for new reactors at its Vogtle site in eastern Georgia, Southern Company is already requesting a license amendment to allow changes to the foundation on which the reactor building would be built. A request which the company aimed to file by last Friday seeks to relax standards for the concrete foundation due to Southern's miscalculation of soil compaction, and the company is pressing regulators for swift approval to avoid what it calls “an additional delay in the construction of the nuclear island basemat structure and subsequent construction activities …”.
In a letter to the NRC dated March 30, 2012, Southern Company admits that construction of the reactor base has not yet begun and that construction will begin in mid-June – if NRC quickly approves the licensing change. It had been thought that pouring of so-called “nuclear concrete” would begin immediately on issuance of the construction license in February, but the letter confirms the long delay.
It seems Southern Company didn't properly take into account our south Georgia soil:
Friday's expected License Amendment Request (LAR) is not yet available to the public, but Southern Company's preliminary notice* about the forthcoming amendment request describes how recent surveys determined that a level foundation for three “nuclear island” buildings cannot be obtained unless the previously allowed one-inch variation in the “mudmat” substrate is increased to four inches. The nuclear island foundation supports the weight of the buildings and equipment and is vital in protecting the plant against earthquakes and other loads.
And there's more to come:
Additionally, Southern Company has already identified 32 License Amendment Requests it will seek by 2014.
Somebody help me here. I've never heard of a solar installation ever running into that many construction problems. Have you?
It's time for Southern Company to abandon this nuke boondoggle and come over to the sunlight side of energy production.