Ongoing inspection programs would identify containment system holes before the holes caused problems. "If a hole develops, we'll find it," Shaw said.
Gundersen explained his concerns in a telephone briefing sponsored by the AP 1000 Oversight Group, a coalition of environmental organizations in the South. They include the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and Georgia WAND. The group wants the the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to look at the AP 1000 containment system.
Fourteen AP 1000 reactors are planned in the Southeast. Two reactors at Georgia Power's Plant Vogtle likely will be the first. The company has been offered $8 billion in loan guarantees for the project and has until next month to accept.
The AP 1000 design is now on its 18th revision at the NRC. The company is currently working with the agency to allay concerns about security of its shield building.