Georgia Power’s Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4 will be the first new nuclear units built in the United States in more than three decades, using the Westinghouse AP1000 advanced pressurized water reactor technology. Once complete, the site will produce enough carbon-free electricity to power more than 1 million homes and may also be used to support future clean energy programs for customers who want to achieve their decarbonization goals.
Vogtle Unit 3 Fuel Load
Operating 24/7/365, nuclear energy facilities produce more than half of all U.S. carbon-free electricity. Plant Vogtle will play an essential role in supporting Southern Company’s goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Once complete, Plant Vogtle will be the largest carbon-free generation asset in the country.
A diverse energy portfolio, including carbon-free nuclear, is essential to maintaining a reliable and affordable energy infrastructure that:
With more than 9,000 construction jobs at its peak and more than 800 permanent jobs available once the units begin operation, Vogtle 3 and 4 is currently the largest jobs-producing construction project in Georgia.
Vogtle Unit 3 reaches initial criticality
Georgia Power currently projects a Unit 3 in-service date in June of 2023. Unit 4 is projected to be complete in either late Q4 2023 or Q1 2024.
Unit 3 safely reached 100% power on May 29, marking a major landmark toward commercial operation and service for customers. This milestone marks the maximum energy the unit is licensed to produce in the reactor core and is the first time the unit has reached its expected output of approximately 1,100 electric MW, which can power an estimated 500,000 homes and businesses.
Once all startup testing is successfully completed and the unit is available for reliable dispatch, Vogtle Unit 3 will enter commercial operation.
Vogtle Unit 3 reaches 100 percent energy output for the first time
Unit 4 completed hot functional testing on May 1, a significant step for the new unit ahead of initial fuel load. As part of the testing, the site team ran Unit 4 plant systems, without nuclear fuel in the reactor, and advanced through the testing process toward reaching normal operating pressure and temperature. Nuclear operators used the heat generated by the unit’s four reactor coolant pumps to raise the temperature and pressure of plant systems to normal operating levels.
The site team will now focus on completing the remaining work necessary to submit documentation to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) that all inspection, tests and analyses have been performed and all acceptance criteria, collectively known as ITAACS, have been met on Vogtle Unit 4 as required by Southern Nuclear’s Combined Operating License. Each ITAAC closure notice must be verified by the NRC before fuel can be loaded into the reactor.
The Vogtle Electric Generating Plant is jointly owned by Georgia Power (45.7%), Oglethorpe Power Corporation (30%), Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (22.7%) and Dalton Utilities (1.6%).