ASLB adds conditions to Seabrook license amendment

An ASLB calls for closer scrutiny of concrete degradation at Seabrook.

An Atomic Safety and Licensing Board has rendered its decision on a challenge to a license amendment concerning concrete degradation—known as alkali-silica reaction, or ASR—at the Seabrook nuclear power plant, upholding the amendment but imposing four additional conditions. The board found the new conditions to be necessary to provide adequate protection of public health and safety, according to a September 11 Nuclear Regulatory Commission press release. (The ASLB is the NRC’s independent body charged with conducting adjudicatory hearings and deciding legal challenges to the agency’s licensing and enforcement actions.)

The challenge to NextEra Energy’s license amendment for Seabrook was brought in 2017 by the C-10 Research and Education Foundation, an opponent of license renewal for the New Hampshire facility, which houses one 1,248-MWe four-loop pressurized water reactor.

Windstorms force early closure of Duane Arnold

High winds that caused damage across central Iowa last week have prompted NextEra Energy to close the Duane Arnold nuclear power plant about two months earlier than originally planned. The plant’s 622-MWe boiling water reactor has been off line since August 10, when a line of intense, fast-moving windstorms, called derechos, caused a loss of off-site power and damaged the plant’s cooling towers. NextEra had planned to permanently shut down Duane Arnold, Iowa’s only nuclear power reactor, on October 30.