NSPE Urges NRC To Investigate Failed Nuclear Project in South Carolina

Thursday, October 26, 2017

NSPE is calling for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to conduct a thorough and complete investigation into the events leading to the shutdown of construction of two nuclear reactors in South Carolina.

According to multiple sources, including media reports and statements by licensed professional engineers familiar with these events, Westinghouse Corporation and other contractors allegedly used unqualified and unlicensed individuals to design aspects of two nuclear reactors at the V.C. Summer site, placing the public health and safety at risk. Documents obtained by Charleston’s Post and Courier, a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper, show that construction drawings used at the site were not prepared, reviewed, or approved by licensed professional engineers. According to reports, state and federal officials were not informed that unqualified and unlicensed workers were preparing design documents or conducting complex engineering calculations. These practices allegedly contributed to thousands of design revisions, construction setbacks, schedule changes, and the ultimate demise of the entire project.

In the October 26 letter to the NRC, NSPE President Tom Roberts, P.E., F.NSPE, stated, “A professional engineering license demonstrates a commitment to standards of engineering practice and ethical conduct by individuals possessing the necessary education, experience, and qualifications to provide critical engineering services to the public.… The public interest is best served when qualified individuals have not only proper technical expertise, but also a clear safety obligation that overrides all other considerations.”