Fri., January 21, 2011 1:10pm (EST)

Feds Deem Reactors Crash-Proof
By Noel Brown
Updated: 3 years ago

AUGUSTA, Ga.  —  
A federal panel says nuclear reactors destined for Plant Vogtle near Augusta could safely withstand the crash of a large commercial jetliner. (Photo courtesy Southern Nuclear)
A federal panel says nuclear reactors destined for Plant Vogtle near Augusta could safely withstand the crash of a large commercial jetliner. (Photo courtesy Southern Nuclear)
Last month the Advisory Committee On Reactor Safeguards declared the Westinghouse AP1000 safe to build and operate as long as a separate review showed the design could withstand a plane crash.

The results of the review, released this week, say that even if one of the reactors were hit the radioactive fuel rods inside wouldn’t be damaged.

The committee findings are needed to certify the design.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission can soon issue Southern Company a license to build and operate two of the reactors at Plant Vogtle says NRC spokesman Scott Bernelle.

"The staff’s expectations are that the rule making process can be completed this year and that a conclusion on the combined licenses would follow shortly after that."

The rule requiring reactors stand up to plane crashes was set up after the September 11th terrorist attacks.

If approved the reactors at Plant Vogtle would be the first built in the country in 30 years.