Major milestone reached at Vogtle-3

October 21, 2020, 9:30AMNuclear News

Vogtle-3, in September. Photo: Georgia Power

Georgia Power has announced the completion of cold hydro testing at Vogtle-3, one of two 1,100-MWe Westinghouse AP1000 pressurized water reactors under construction at the Vogtle site near Waynesboro, Ga.

Unit 3 construction is now approximately 94 percent complete, and the total Vogtle-3 and -4 expansion project is about 88 percent complete, according to the company’s October 19 announcement. The last major test for Vogtle-3 before initial fuel loading is hot functional testing.

Cold hydro testing of Unit 3 confirmed that the reactor’s coolant system functions as designed and verified that the welds, joints, pipes, and other components of the coolant system and associated high-pressure systems do not leak when under pressure, Georgia Power said. The company also noted that it expects to meet the regulatory-approved in-service dates for the new reactors: November 2021 for Unit 3, and November 2022 for Unit 4.

Quote: “Every milestone achieved at the Vogtle-3 and -4 project represents another major step toward operations of the first new nuclear units in the U.S. in more than 30 years,” said Paul Bowers, chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Georgia Power. “Completion of cold hydro testing not only helps pave the way for initial fuel load, it also moves us closer to bringing on line a carbon-free asset that will provide clean energy for our customers, our state, and the country for the next 60 to 80 years.”

Other news: Georgia Power also announced the successful startup of the first of Unit 3’s reactor coolant pumps, as well as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s issuance of operator licenses to 62 reactor and senior reactor operators for Vogtle-3 and -4.

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