Repairs begun on cracks at SC nuclear power plant

sfretwell@thestate.comNovember 14, 2012 

— Utility engineers are working to seal cracks at a Fairfield County atomic power plant before the fractures widen and make the plant more vulnerable to a nuclear accident.

The SCE&G plant doesn’t present any current threat to the public, but cracks in the reactor head at the nuclear plant are a concern that must be addressed, according to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Without repairs, the small cracks could widen and allow water that keeps the reactor cool to escape.

In documents filed with the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission, SCE&G says it plans to make repairs that will satisfy concerns about the recently discovered flaws at the V.C. Summer reactor. The repairs should be good for at least 40 years, the power company said in an Oct. 30 report to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The repairs have begun, a spokeswoman for SCE&G said.

But while nuclear watchdogs said they’re glad SCE&G found the flaws, they expressed worries about long-term safety.

Instead of sealing cracks in the aging reactor head, SCE&G should install a new head, Columbia anti-nuclear activist Tom Clements said.

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