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Pete wrote: A "first of a kind" (in the US) plant such as Vogtle is going to run into small problems and delays during the construction. Those problems will be worked out, and then the lessons learned can be applied to the next set of plants to be built. This is the way engineering works.

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Vogtle has run into a delay of over a year out of a 5 year construction schedule. The problems it has run into are not small problems when the cause that much of a delay.

One of the major problems was that they built the basemat foundation incorrectly, then they had to go to the NRC to get a change to the approved design, then the NRC granted the design change but with the new requirement that they use higher strenth concrete which is more costly. This took months to resolve. Many other problems have also surfaced such as building of the modules.

Read and weep:

December 12, 2012

Construction of a first-of-its-kind nuclear power plant in Georgia will be delayed by more than a year, likely causing hundreds of millions of dollars in extra costs, according to a report from a state-hired monitor.

In a report filed Friday, nuclear engineer William Jacobs Jr. said he believed the first reactor will be completed no earlier than June 2017. Jacobs cautioned that additional delays are possible.

“The cost of a one-year delay in the project is in the range of hundreds of millions of dollars,” said Jacobs, who monitors the construction project for Georgia’s Public Service Commission, which regulates utilities.

Jacobs called the performance of the team designing and building the plant – Westinghouse Electric Co. and The Shaw Group –as “unsatisfactory” in some critical areas.

Jacobs said the construction of modules has slipped because of design, fabrication and quality assurance problems.

Shaw Modular Solutions, part of The Shaw Group, “clearly lacked experience in the nuclear power industry and was not prepared for the rigor and attention to detail required to successfully manufacture nuclear components,” Jacobs said.

http://chronicle.augusta.com/news/metro/2012-12-12/new-plant...

Cheers,
jaagu
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