The US nuclear regulator has approved America’s second new nuclear project. NRC commissioners voted 4-1 to issue combined construction and operating licenses (COLs) to South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G) for two new AP1000 reactors at the VC Summer site.
The COLs will authorize SCE&G and Santee Cooper to build and operate two AP1000 reactors at Summer, adjacent to the company’s existing reactor approximately 26 miles northwest of Columbia, South Carolina. NRC staff expect to issue COLs within ten business days.
The Commission said it would be imposing two conditions on the COLs. The first requires inspection and testing of squib valves, important components of the new reactors’ passive cooling system. The second requires the development of strategies to respond to extreme natural events resulting in the loss of power at the new reactors.
The NRC also said that, on issuance of the COLs, SCE&G and Santee Cooper will be also issued with an Order requiring enhance reliable spent fuel pool instrumentation, as well as request for information related to emergency plant staffing.
With extensive site preparation work already completed, the units had been slated for operation in 2016 and 2019. However, the COLs were not received as quickly as expected and the new units are now to expected be finished in 2017 and 2018.
“Receiving approval of our licenses to construct and operate units 2 and 3 at V.C. Summer is a significant event for our company and marks the culmination of an intense review by the NRC,” said Kevin Marsh, chairman and CEO of SCANA.