On a 4-1 vote, with Chairman Gregory Jaczko dissenting, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the combined operating licenses for two new nuclear reactors to be built at the V. C. Summer nuclear power plant in South Carolina.
The approval was not without conditions, as the NRC press release noted:
The Commission’s findings impose two conditions on the COLs, with the first requiring inspection and testing of squib valves, important components of the new reactors’ passive cooling system. The second requires the development of strategies to respond to extreme natural events resulting in the loss of power at the new reactors. The Commission also directed NRO to issue to SCE&G and Santee Cooper, simultaneously with the COLs, an Order requiring enhanced, reliable spent fuel pool instrumentation, as well as a request for information related to emergency plant staffing.
The conditions stop short of what Chairman Jaczko wanted, as noted in the Chicago Tribune:
As he did last month (in the Vogtle case), NRC chairman Gregory Jaczko cast a lone dissenting vote against the new Summer units, citing a need for the agency to make sure all safety issues raised by Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster are incorporated into new reactors before they are allowed to operate.
Here’s a link to the Tribune article: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-usa-nuclear-nrc-scanabre82t161-20120330,0,3426180.story