Regulators to Look at Seabrook Nuclear Plant's Plan for Concrete Degradation

Oct 14, 2016

Federal regulators says they are ready to assess whether the Seabrook Station Nuclear Power Plant has a sufficient plan to address a chemical reaction affecting the plant’s concrete structures.

In 2009, staff at the Seabrook Station Nuclear power plant discovered something called an alkali-silica reaction happening in many of the plant’s concrete structures. The reaction, sometimes referred to as ‘concrete cancer,’ causes cracks and could threaten the structural integrity of the plant.

The plant’s owner, NextEra, recently submitted its plans to address the issue to the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Today, NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan said NextEra’s plans were detailed enough for an official evaluation to begin.

“Ultimately, if they’re not able to resolve this to our satisfaction, it has implications for both the potential for a license renewal and for the current operational condition of the plant.”

Seabrook Station is currently licensed through 2030 and is seeking a 20 year extension.

The NRC’s review is expected to be completed by August of 2018.