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Tuesday, January 29, 2013 - 12:03pm

Nuclear Part Remains At Port

A nuclear container vessel intended for a new reactor at Plant Vogtle is still sitting at the port of Savannah.

Workers tried to ship the vessel on a rail car last month but had to bring it back to port.

The 300 ton vessel will contain one of the nuclear reactors the company is building at the plant just south of Augusta.

Southern Company spokesman Mark Williams says workers had concerns about the vessel's shipment while it was moving on a train on December 15th.

"Very soon after leaving the port, there was some movement in the platform that the car was resting on," Williams says. "So they stopped the train, they went and inspected it and decided that they wanted to return to port and do some more study on the rail car."

Williams says no one was hurt in the incident, the vessel wasn't damaged and the delay won't affect the plant's overall construction schedule.

Still, project opponents question why it took a month for the public to find out about the problem and are demanding more detailed information about it.

Tom Clements of the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability says the most he's been able to find out about the incident comes from federal nuclear regulators.

"There was a loud noise and the train car stopped and they had to take it back into the port," Clements says. "And that's where it sits right now. There's really been a news blackout from the company and I really they they have some explaining to do."

Clements says the the incident and the company's public reaction to it doesn't build confidence in the plant, which is behind schedule and over-budget.

A company spokesman says he isn't aware of any public documents that had to be filed about the incident.

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