Seabrook Engineers Continue To Study Deteriorating Concrete

Nov 28, 2012

Alan Griffith of Seabrook Station at containment dome model.
Credit Roger Wood

Officials from the Seabrook Nuclear Plant say the plant is operating safely, despite concrete deterioration found in some structures.

At the plant’s annual press briefing, communications manager Alan Griffith, said engineers are studying the deterioration, caused by Alkali Silicon Reaction, contamination of concrete in structures under water.  He pointed out that no such deterioration has been found in critical areas, including the dome housing the plant’s radioactive fuel rods.

“You’re talking about almost 6 feet of steel reinforced concrete.  The containment structure itself is fully intact and unaffected by ASR."

Griffith says that preliminary studies indicate that that several structures affected by ASR are fully functional, but that the owner, NextEra Energy will take steps to seal concrete in  those areas if the Nuclear Regulatory Commission requires it.   NextEra is seeking an extension of its operating license until 2050,  and the ASR study will be part of its decision-making process.  The media briefing held Wednesday is an annual NRC requirement.