Georgia Power’s Vogtle 3 reactor reaches major milestone

Published on December 14, 2020 by Dave Kovaleski

© Shutterstock

Georgia Power received the first nuclear fuel shipment for its new Vogtle Unit 3 reactor, currently under construction but nearing completion.

This milestone marks a major step for the Vogtle 3 & 4 nuclear expansion project towards operations. To receive nuclear fuel, construction of specific areas of Unit 3 had to be completed and inspected, ensuring critical infrastructure met construction quality and design requirements. Now, one of the last major milestones ahead for Unit 3 is hot functional testing.

“Since the start, the Vogtle expansion project has been an investment in our energy future. Today, as we receive our first nuclear fuel shipment, we remain committed to realizing the benefits this project will provide not only to our customers but also our state and our country,” Georgia Power Chairman and CEO Paul Bowers said. “Achieving this historic milestone brings us closer to fuel load expected in April 2021, and, once online, these new nuclear units will provide clean, carbon-free energy for the next 60 to 80 years.”

Unit 3 construction is now approximately 96 percent complete. Once operational, the two new units at Plant Vogtle power more than 500,000 homes and businesses.

This year, the Vogtle 3 & 4 project team completed the pre-startup review process conducted by the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO). WANO assessed the Vogtle 3 & 4 nuclear expansion project’s readiness to operate the new AP1000 reactors with safety and quality as the primary focus.

The expansion of Plant Vogtle has employed more than 7,000 construction workers. Once it is open, it will support more than 800 permanent jobs.