TheWall Street Journalreported in its April 11 edition that Southern Co.’s Hatch nuclear power plant in Georgia turned up a couple of fake water valves accompanied by paperwork indicating they supposedly were made by “Ladish Co. of Houston, Texas.” (Actually, the victimized company was Ladish Valves.) The valves were not safety-related, however. The offender is said to be known, and one source told us the perpetrator is not necessarily a foreign company.
The article, titled “Utilities Fret as Reactor-Part Suppliers Shrink,” dealt with the larger issue of reliable suppliers being hard to find as the moribund nuclear industry attempts to start up again after more than three decades without new reactors being built. Applications for 15 new nukes are currently pending before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. They may have to rely on foreign companies to supply critical components.