Rail Car Mishap Delays Arrival of New Vogtle Nuclear Plant RPV

A problem with a rail shipment recently held up delivery of a reactor pressure vessel en route to Georgia's Plant Vogtle construction site, but Southern Co. maintains that it won't delay the project.

Schnabel railcar. Source: WikipediaSouthern is leading a group of utilities building two new Westinghouse AP1000 reactors at the plant. Many of the project's large components, such as steam generators and reactor pressure vessels, are manufactured overseas and shipped to the plant through the Port of Savannah. The Augusta Chronicle reported Thursday that a special railcar moving a 300-ton reactor pressure vessel became misaligned on the tracks and stopped less than a mile from the port. Neither the RPV nor the rail car were damaged, a Southern Co. representative said, and they returned to the port.

The shipment was made using a 400-foot-long Schnabel car, which suspends oversized loads between two clusters of axles. Last year, the American Journal of Transportation reported that Westinghouse employs two Schnabel cars, in Savannah and in Charleston, S.C., to move components for reactors under construction at Vogtle and at the V.C. Summer plant.

Photo: A Schnabel rail car, similar to the car used to ship the RPV, moves an electrical transformer. Source: Terry Cantrell via Wikipedia

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  • Anonymous

    Real pictures of the real event are available on line. Why not here?

  • Anonymous:

    Fair question. The reason is that we don't own the rights to the photos you're most likely referring to, and no images of the incident could be found in the public domain or on offer with the explicit permission of the photographer. The rights holder of the image obtained by the Augusta Chronicle wasn't clear. An image of the rail car back at the port has since been circulated by an anti-nuclear group, but we didn't receive that press release until this morning. You're absolutely right that a better photo would have enhanced the post, but those are the rules we must work within.



    Nuclear Street News Team

  • Anonymous

    I guess karma is at work here. BUY AMERICAN dummies!