Vogtle site makes progress with critical testing of new units

July 16, 2020, 3:15PMNuclear News

Closed vessel testing has been completed at Vogtle-3 at the Georgia Power site near Waynesboro, Ga., the company announced on July 14. The completion of the milestone prepares Unit 3 for cold hydro testing, which is required ahead of initial fuel load.

Vogtle-3 and -4 are the first new nuclear power reactors built in the United States in the past three decades. The new units will be powered by AP1000 reactors.

Closed vessel testing verifies that the pipes and valves in the Unit 3 reactor coolant system were installed as designed and helps to ensure safety systems function properly. To carry out the testing on the plant's safety systems, workers installed the reactor vessel head as well as the lower and upper reactor internals and flow restrictors, which will be used during hot functional testing to mimic flow through the reactor core.

He said it: "The completion of closed vessel testing is a major milestone for the project, as we continue to make progress with critical testing and in our transition from construction toward system operations," said Glen Chick, executive vice president of Vogtle 3 & 4 Construction.

2020 key milestones achieved:

Completion of the structural integrity test and integrated leak rate test–The structural integrity test and integrated leak rate test were completed in succession and demonstrated the containment vessel meets construction quality and design requirements.

Placement of the final module for Unit 3–The water tank that sits on top of the containment vessel and shield building roof, known as module CB-20, is a major part of the AP1000 reactor's advanced safety system and will hold about 750,000 gallons of water ready to flow down in the event of an emergency to help cool the reactor.

Placement of the Unit 3 integrated head package (IHP) on top of the reactor vessel–Standing 48 feet tall, weighing 475,000 pounds, and containing more than three miles of electrical cables, the IHP will eventually be used by nuclear operators to monitor and control the nuclear reaction that will occur inside Unit 3’s reactor vessel.

Completion of open vessel testing for Unit 3–This test successfully demonstrated how water flows from the key safety systems into the reactor vessel ensuring that the paths are not blocked or constricted, and confirmed the pumps, motors, valves, pipes, and other components of the systems function as designed.

Placement of the polar crane and containment vessel top for Unit 4–This work signified that all major lifts inside the containment vessels for both units are now complete.

Jobs: With more than 7,000 workers on site, Vogtle-3 and -4 is currently the largest jobs-producing construction project in the state of Georgia, according to Georgia Power. More than 800 permanent jobs will be added at the site when the units begin operating.

Closed vessel testing has been completed for Vogtle-3 at the Georgia Power site near Waynesboro, Ga., the company announced on July 14. The completion of the milestone prepares Unit 3 for cold hydro testing, which is required ahead of initial fuel load.

Vogtle-3 and -4 will be the first new nuclear power reactors built in the United States in the past three decades. The new units will be powered by Westinghouse AP1000 advanced pressurized water reactors.


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