U.S. Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) recently wrote a letter to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to raise concerns about an upcoming surge in required inspections, tests, analyses and acceptance-criteria (ITAAC) reviews for new nuclear reactors.
“This situation has captured our close attention, not only because of these reactors’ importance for energy supply, but also because the implementation of this process will have a significant impact on the NRC’s reputation,” the letter said. “While we understand the NRC staff has been working diligently to provide a proper and timely review of ITAAC closure notifications to date, the NRC's effectiveness, efficiency and agility will be put to the test as the workload accelerates.”
Inhofe, who is chairman of the Committee on Environment and Public Works, and Capito, chairwoman of the committee’s Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety, raised their concerns in regard to four reactors under construction: Southern Co.’s Vogtle 3 and 4 in Georgia and SCANA Corp.’s V.C. Summer 2 and 3 in South Carolina. They are nearing completion and will be the first reactors built under the NRC’s combined construction and operating licensing process, as well as the first to implement ITAAC provisions.
“We are particularly interested in making
certain that the necessary resources will be provided and appropriate steps are
taken to ensure the complete and timely review of ITAAC closure notifications
and efficient administration of ITAAC hearings that may be held, if any,” the senators wrote.