Vogtle Unit 3 starts nuclear fuel load
Marks a historic moment for the modern US nuclear industry
The milestone is essential before start-up testing and commercial operation
The new nuclear unit should enter service in the first quarter of 2023
ATLANTE, October 14, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Georgia Power announced tonight that fueling into the Vogtle Unit 3 reactor core has begun at the Vogtle plant near Waynesboro, Ga. The fueling process marks a historic and crucial step toward start-up and commercial operation of the first new nuclear units to be built in the United States in more than three decades.
“Vogtle Nuclear Units 3 and 4 represent a critical long-term investment in our state’s energy future, and the milestone of fueling for Unit 3 demonstrates the steady and evident progress at the nuclear expansion site. “, said Chris Womack, Chairman, President and CEO of Georgia Power. “We write history here in Georgia and the United States as we approach the commissioning of the first new nuclear unit to be built in the country in more than 30 years. These units are important in building the energy future and will serve as clean, emission-free energy sources for Georgians for the next 60-80 years.”
The start of Unit 3 fuel loading comes after Southern Nuclear received a landmark 103(g) finding from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in August, which means the new unit has been built and will be in operation. in accordance with the combined license and the NRC. regulations.
During fuel loading, nuclear technicians and operators from Westinghouse and Southern Nuclear must safely transfer 157 fuel assemblies one by one from the Unit 3 spent fuel pool to the Unit 3 reactor core in the next days.
Start-up tests will then begin and are designed to demonstrate the integrated operation of the primary coolant system and the steam supply system at the design temperature and pressure with fuel inside the reactor. Operators will also bring the plant from cold shutdown to initial criticality, synchronize the unit to the electrical grid and systematically increase power to 100%. Vogtle’s Unit 3 is expected to enter service in the first quarter of 2023.
Southern Nuclear will operate the new unit on behalf of the co-owners: Georgia Power, Oglethorpe Power, MEAG Power and Dalton Utilities.
The new Vogtle units are a vital part of Georgia Power’s commitment to providing clean, safe, reliable and affordable power to its 2.7 million customers. Once in service, the two new units, which will be clean energy sources that produce no air pollution, are expected to power more than 500,000 homes and businesses.
About Georgia Power
Georgia Power is the largest power subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), America’s premier energy company. Value, reliability, customer service and stewardship are the cornerstones of the company’s promise to 2.7 million customers in all but four countries. georgia 159 counties. Committed to providing clean, safe, reliable and affordable power at rates below the national average, Georgia Power maintains a diverse and innovative generation mix that includes nuclear, coal and natural gas, as well as renewables such as solar, hydroelectric and wind power. Georgia Power is focused on providing world-class service to its customers every day and the company is recognized by JD Power as an industry leader in customer satisfaction. For more information, visit www.GeorgiaPower.com and connect with the company on Facebook (Facebook.com/Georgia Power), Twitter (Twitter.com/GeorgiaPower) and Instagram (Instagram.com/ga_power).
Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Certain information contained in this press release is forward-looking information based on current plans and expectations that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking information includes, among other things, statements regarding the expected in-service date of Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4. Georgia Power cautions that certain factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information provided. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking information, which is not a guarantee of future performance and is subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, many of which are beyond Georgia Power’s control; therefore, there can be no assurance that these suggested results will be achieved. The following factors, in addition to those discussed in Georgia Power’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021, and subsequent securities filings, could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations management, as this forward-looking information suggests: the potential effects of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic; the ability to control costs and avoid cost and schedule overruns when developing, constructing and operating facilities or other projects, including Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4, which include components based on new technology that have only come into operation in the last few years in the global nuclear industry at this scale, due to current and/or future challenges which include, but are not limited to , changes in labor costs, availability and productivity, challenges in managing contractors or suppliers, performance of contractors, adverse weather conditions, shortages, delays, increased inconsistent cost or quality of equipment, materials and labor, contractor or supplier delay, delays due to legal or regulatory action, non-performance of construction contracts, operating or other, operational readiness, including specialized operator training and site safety programs, engineering or design issues or any related solution, design and other license-based compliance matters, including inspections and timely submission by Southern Nuclear of inspection, testing, analysis and acceptance criteria documentation for Plant Vogtle Unit 4 and related investigations, reviews and approvals by the NRC necessary to support NRC authorization to load fuel for Plant Vogtle Unit 4, start-up activity challenges, including major equipment failures, or system integration and/or performance operations, and the challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic; the ability to overcome or mitigate current challenges at Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4 that could further impact the cost and schedule of the project; legal proceedings and regulatory approvals and actions related to construction projects, such as Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4, including Public Service Commission approvals and NRC actions; in certain specific circumstances, the decision of holders of more than 10% of the interests in Units 3 and 4 of Plant Vogtle not to proceed with construction and the possibility for certain other owners of Vogtle to transfer part of their interests to Georgia Power after certain increases in construction costs, including the alleged exercise by Oglethorpe Power Corporation and the City of Dalton of their bidding options and related litigation; the ability to construct facilities in accordance with permit and license requirements (including meeting NRC requirements), meet all environmental performance standards and tax credit and other incentive requirements, and integrate the facilities into the Southern Company system upon completion of construction; risks inherent in the operation and construction of nuclear generating facilities; the ability of Georgia Power’s counterparties to make payments when due and to perform their obligations; the direct or indirect effect on Georgia Power’s business resulting from a cyber intrusion or physical attack and the threat of physical attacks; catastrophic events such as fires, earthquakes, explosions, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes and other storms, droughts, pandemic health events, political unrest, wars or other similar events; and direct or indirect effects on Georgia Power’s business resulting from incidents affecting the US electrical grid or the operation of generation or storage resources. Georgia Power expressly disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking information.