Vogtle-3’s commercial operation delayed at least a month

June 21, 2023, 3:00PMANS Nuclear Cafe

The commercial operation of Georgia Power Company’s Vogtle-3 nuclear power plant has been delayed again, this time because of turbine troubles, the Associated Press reported last week.

The problem was a degraded seal in the hydrogen system used to cool the main electrical generator. The reactor has been shut down while repairs are being made, according to AP. Georgia Power now estimates the reactor will begin sending electricity to the grid in July. The company had eyed the end of June for Unit 3's commercial operations.

Notes: Vogtle 3’s reactor has already hit full power output as part of its testing, which Georgia Power said last Friday was 95 percent complete.

Units 3 and 4 at Vogtle are the first new reactors built from scratch in decades in the United States. Vogtle’s original reactors, Units 1 and 2, have been generating electricity since the late 1980s.

Meanwhile, Unit 4 has finished a key testing phase, and Vogtle site operator Southern Nuclear expects to start loading fuel between July and October of this year. The goal for the reactor is to reach commercial operation between December 2023 and March 2024, according to AP.

The owners of the Vogtle site are Georgia Power Co., Oglethorpe Power Corp., Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia, and the city of Dalton, Ga.

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