, Newburyport, MA

Local News

March 29, 2013

Lab to test Seabrook's concrete problems


According to NRC senior reactor analyst William Cook, he and fellow members of the agency’s ASR team of experts will go to Austin, Texas, within the next few weeks for an extended visit to see for themselves the result of testing being conducted by the college on Seabrook’s ASR phenomenon. The University of Texas was commissioned by NextEra Energy Seabrook to research the effects ASR could have on the plant as it ages.

“We’ll go down to Austin and spend some time with the professionals working on the ASR testing because it’s the only way to gain confidence in their process,” Cook said. “We’ll be there while they’re testing the anchor bolts, doing destructive testing, which tests materials to determine what the breaking point is.”

Cook said anchor bolts testing will determine how well bolts in ASR-affected concrete retain their capacity to stay in the walls and not be pulled out.

The team will also watch as the scientist working on the project at the university fabricates concrete reinforcement beams in a manner that’s representative of the beams at Seabrook Station. The beams will again be stressed to judge their compressive and tensile strength.

Cook is one of about 10 NRC engineers on the team focusing on the ASR issue at Seabrook Station. He and four others were at an agency open house in Hampton Wednesday night, which offered an opportunity for members of the public to speak informally with the experts on issues related to Seabrook Station.

“I think we do our best work with the public when we are in this kind of informal setting, speaking with people one-on-one,” Cook said.

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