Commission Concludes Investigation into Failed Nuclear Project

Monday, February 26, 2018

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has determined that while no health or safety violations occurred during a failed nuclear project, the agency will consider adding a step to its inspection procedures that ensures a professional engineer has approved design specification documents.

In October 2017, NSPE urged the NRC to launch a thorough and complete investigation into events leading to the shutdown of construction of two nuclear reactors in South Carolina. The NRC conducted the investigation and did not identify any violations of the commission’s requirements. The NRC plans no further action. If, however, new information is identified that raises further concerns, the NRC would determine if additional action is needed.

In its investigation, the NRC evaluated concerns that unqualified and unlicensed individuals were involved in the design aspects of two nuclear reactors at the V.C. Summer site, placing the public’s health and safety at risk. The NRC found no evidence that designs needing PE approval were approved by unlicensed individuals.

According to the NRC's response to NSPE's concerns, the commission's staff is considering adding a specific step to its inspection procedures that requires inspectors who are reviewing design reports and design specification documents to ensure the documents have been approved by a professional engineer, if required by the applicable ASME Code.

NSPE urges the NRC to approve this specific step as soon as is expedient.