Georgia Power announced a resequencing of certain planned activities at Plant Vogtle Units 3 & 4.

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Georgia Power and Southern Nuclear have made significant adjustments to work practices at the project site, designed to protect the health and safety of the project workforce while maintaining productivity. These adjustments, along with continued challenges in electrical construction productivity, have required work to be performed differently, necessitating a resequencing of activities.

As a result, for Unit 3, the planned timing of the structural integrity test and integrated leak rate testing will occur before cold hydro testing, and the planned timing for start of cold hydro testing has been moved from July to the fall of 2020. The company continues to work toward fuel load occurring in 2020; however, this milestone is not required to be achieved until later in 2021 to support the regulatory-approved in-service dates.

“Georgia Power and Southern Nuclear are continuing to employ an aggressive site work plan as part of a strategy to maintain margin to the regulatory-approved in-service dates and the resequencing of these activities reflects our efforts,” said Glen Chick, Executive Vice President of Vogtle 3 & 4 Construction. “The project team continues to accomplish major milestones despite the ongoing pandemic, while keeping safety and quality our top priority.”

The current regulatory-approved in-service dates remain November 2021 and November 2022 for Units 3 & 4, respectively.

2020 Milestones Achieved

  • Placement of the final module for Unit 3 – The water tank that sits atop 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 approximately 750,000 gallons of water ready to flow down in the unlikely event of an emergency to help cool the reactor.
  • Placement of the Unit 3 integrated head package (IHP) atop 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 highly-trained nuclear operators to monitor and control the nuclear reaction that will occur inside the Unit 3 reactor vessel.
  • Completion of Open Vessel Testing for Unit 3 – This successfully demonstrated how water flows from the key safety systems into the reactor vessel ensuring 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 signifies that all major lifts inside the containment vessels for both units are now complete.