Inside the FLEX dome at Farley nuclear plant

A disaster-resistant concrete dome has been completed at Southern Company’s Farley nuclear power plant in Alabama, USA.

The 15,432 square foot FLEX equipment storage building will be used to house emergency equipment for use in case of severe accident.

"Following the event at Fukushima, US industry leaders worked together to develop a flexible, diverse coping strategy that would provide even more protection for our plants against extreme events," said Steve Kuczynski, CEO of Southern Nuclear, a subsidiary of Southern Company that operates its nuclear energy facilities. "FLEX adds another level of safety to our proven emergency plans to ensure plant operators can maintain key safety functions even if offsite power sources are curtailed."

The Farley dome has been designed to rigorous specifications, to withstand 360mph winds, event driven missiles and seismic forces. It is 138ft in diameter, 38ft tall and features two hardened equipment doors.

The facility was constructed by American Business Continuity (ABC) Domes, Inc, which is working on two other dome projects for Southern Company. The domes at the Vogtle and Hatch nuclear plants in Georgia are scheduled for completion in May and December 2015, respectively. Additionally, work is nearing completion on seven Fukushima FLEX domes for other US utilities.

Photo: Inside the FLEX dome at Farley nuclear plant