Boston (September 11, 2020) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) today commended the decision by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Atomic Safety Licensing Board (ASLB) to require increased testing and monitoring at the Seabrook Nuclear Power Station. On March 12, 2019, the NRC renewed the operating license of Seabrook Station through March 2050. The C-10 Research and Education Foundation challenged the approval of NextEra Energy’s license amendment request, which was required as part of the license renewal process, citing concerns about the degradation to concrete structures at Seabrook caused by the alkali-silica reaction (ASR). On Friday, August 21, 2020, the ASLB issued its decision to uphold the NRC’s approval of NextEra Energy’s license amendment, with the addition of four conditions. These conditions included requirements for more frequent and detailed monitoring and engineering evaluations of the concrete structures, as well as an analysis to detect internal microcracking and delamination of extracted nuclear cores. A public version of the ruling was released today.
“I am pleased that the NRC Atomic Safety Licensing Board is responding to scientific concerns and requiring additional measures to ensure the safety of the Seabrook Nuclear Power Station and the surrounding community,” said Senator Markey. “It is imperative that Seabrook’s operations and concrete aging management plan are rooted in science. The new requirements for additional evaluations and more frequent monitoring and testing will help ensure that NextEra has the information it needs to safely operate the Seabrook Station.”
At the Seabrook Nuclear Power Station, Senator Markey has fought for using the best science regarding the degradation caused by ASR. He has also worked with his colleagues to push for public meetings and hearings before the NRC renewed or amended the Seabrook plant license. Senator Markey has previously called on the NRC to address safety concerns before any license extensions are issued.