After Baddour Calls for Investigation of Concrete Degredation at Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant, NRC Agrees
UPDATE - MARCH 12, 2012 - After Senator Baddour expressed concern about the safety of the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) announced yesterday that it will halt re-relicensing of the Power Plant until the full-extent of the concrete degredation issue is investigated.
"I am pleased that the NRC has agreed to heed our warnings that concrete degradation at the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant calls into question the plant's integrity and safety," said Senator Baddour. "I hope that a halt to relicensing of the plant will be the first of many steps to ensure the long-term safety and security of the plant and the public."
On December 14, 2011, Senator Baddour sent a request to Greg Jaczko, Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), requesting a halt to the relicensing of the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant pending a long-term solution to concrete degredation at the plant.
According to an NRC report, the Seabrook Plant has experienced concrete degradation due to years of groundwater infiltration. This problem has caused a substantial decrease in the strength and integrity of the concrete at the site's foundation. This is especially problematic as the damage was found during a below-grade inspection to the accessible portion of the foundation, including electrical control tunnel B - a safety structure with vital electric cables that support the cooling system should a meltdown occur. Further, NRC conceded that it did not know the scope or severity of the degradation throughout the plant's entire foundation.
Senator Baddour first learned of the problem regarding concrete degradation at the Seabrook Plant after meeting with Newburyport constituent Bruce Skud. Mr. Skud has been a long-time advocate for nuclear safety in the region.
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