NRC chairman checks Seabrook Station concrete degradation
Macfarlane said it was her first visit to Seabrook, and she also spent some time viewing the nuclear waste storage on site.
Macfarlane’s primary purpose was learning about a concrete degradation issue caused by an alkali-silica reaction. The issue was first identified at the power plant by NextEra Energy, the plant’s owner and operator, in 2009. The reaction is not uncommon in concrete, but it is the first time it has been found in a nuclear power plant in the United States and is caused by the type of aggregate used in making the concrete.
“They are certainly putting a lot of resources into it and taking it very seriously, as they should. We are taking it very seriously, too and will be vigilant in making sure we are satisfied they understand the impact on this reactor,” Macfarlane said.
Her background is in nuclear waste issues, and she said she has always had an interest in the back-end of the nuclear fuel cycle.
She said there arey few license inspections that are being held up by the lack of decision, and she does not expect there will be in the future.
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