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Regulators outline Seabrook Nuclear Station 2022 safety record
Jul 12, 2023

Regulators outline Seabrook Nuclear Station 2022 safety record

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Updated: 10:51 PM EDT Jun 27, 2023


Ross Ketschke   


Federal regulators have released their annual safety report for Seabrook Nuclear Power Station.

The yearly report card for Seabrook’s safety record shows the plant is passing all the important benchmarks, but there are some concerns inspectors are watching closely.

Travis Daun, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's senior resident inspector at the plant, said Seabrook completed 2022 with the lowest level of safety concern.

“Bottom line, Seabrook operated safely in 2022 and continues to operate safely,” Daun said. “We have no significant safety concerns with how they're monitoring."

According to the report, more than 4,000 hours of inspections found the plant reported no emergency shutdowns and completed the required emergency response drills. Seabrook will continue to see the same level of baseline safety inspections in 2023.

However, an issue first brought to light more than a decade ago is still being closely watched by regulators.

Alkali silica reaction, or ASR, is a form of gelling in the plant's concrete.

Retrofitted supports have been installed in some areas to compensate for cracking.

"So as the concrete expands, it can create tresses in the building,” Daun said. “So right now, they are monitoring it."

Joanna Hammond has long opposed the nuclear power station on the Seacoast.

"I think they're doing the best they can. I don't think it's enough,” Hammond said.

She said her concerns about a potential disaster were only made worse last summer when a false alarm was triggered over loudspeakers at Hampton Beach, creating a temporary panic that something at the plant had gone wrong.

"I wasn't at the beach, but the fact that the beaches were being cleared was a big concern,” Hammond said.

Daun said that false alarm was the result of a single button being hit by mistake.

And a more robust process has been created to prevent another from being triggered by accident.

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