Japanese Toshiba-Westinghouse AP1000 design, just approved for construction in US by NRC, has major safety flaw
By a 4 to 1 vote, the Commissioners of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) today approved the combined Construction and Operating License Application (COLA) of Southern Nuclear Company, paving the way for two 1,100 megawatt-electric Toshiba-Westinghouse "Advanced Passive" AP1000s to be built at the Vogtle nuclear power plant near Augusta, Georgia. NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko cast the sole "no" vote, while Commissioners Kristine Svinicki, George Apostolakis, William Magwood IV, and William Ostendorff voted in favor. Chairman Jaczko had previously cast the sole dissenting votes against such controversial proposals as: the 20 year license extension at the Oyster Creek, NJ GE BWR Mark I, the oldest operating reactor in the U.S. and identical in design to Fukushima Daiichi Units 1 to 4; and the Private Fuel Storage, LLC high-level radioactive waste "parking lot dump" targeted at the tiny Skull Valley Goshutes Indian Reservation in Utah. Recently, Beyond Nuclear's Linda Gunter pointed out that Chairman Jaczko, although not perfect, shows concern for safety that sets him apart from the other four NRC Commissioners.
In addition to the U.S., four AP1000s are under construction in China, despite serious questions about lack of qaulity assurance in their design and construction.
Japanese nuclear giant Toshiba, before it took over U.S. nuclear giant Westinghouse, was the reactor supplier and architect at the ill-fated Fukushima Daiichi Unit 3 reactor. Unit 3 suffered the worst explosion, leaving the reactor building a pile of twisted rubble. Its high-level radioactive waste storage pool in full of debris; the exact condition, or even location, of the stored irradiated fuel, as well as of the melted core in the reactor itself, is largely unknown -- at least to the public, that is.
Beyond Nuclear responded to the Vogtle Units 3 and 4 NRC approval with a media statement, pointing out that a NRC license does not ensure project success. Read more, including updates, at our "New Reactors" section...