Another key milestone for Georgia Power’s Vogtle nuclear expansion project was achieved Jan. 22 with the placement of the Unit 3 pressurizer, which will provide pressure control inside the reactor coolant system once the unit begins operating.
The 225,000-pound pressurizer for Vogtle Unit 3 arrived via rail at the construction site in August 2014. The component was fabricated in Italy and shipped to the Port of Savannah, before being loaded onto a railcar for the final leg of its journey.
A time-lapse video of the placement can be seen on Georgia Power’s YouTube channel.
This latest milestone continues momentum at the site of the only new nuclear units under construction in the U.S. In December, 1,300 cubic yards of concrete was placed inside the Unit 4 containment vessel in a continuous placement that lasted 21 hours. In November, the last of the “Big 6” modules for the project was placed – the Unit 4 CA02 module, which will make up the in-containment refueling water storage tank.
Follow the progress being made at the project with new photos added from the Vogtle nuclear expansion site each month in the Plant Vogtle 3 and 4 Online Photo Gallery.
Georgia Power to move forward with Vogtle 3 and 4
Georgia Power announced on Dec. 21, 2017, that it will move forward with the Vogtle 3 and 4 project following unanimous approval by the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC).
The decision by the Georgia PSC followed months of review and evaluation of a unified recommendation presented in August 2017 by the Vogtle co-owners. The recommendation was based on the results of a comprehensive schedule, cost-to-complete and cancellation assessment that was prompted by the bankruptcy of former primary Vogtle contractor Westinghouse in March and the subsequent rejection of the fixed-price contract. The decision continues to protect customers with new penalties for delays and cost increases in addition to penalties included in the previous stipulated agreement approved earlier this year by the Georgia PSC. Under this amended structure, shareholders will see a significant impact of approximately $750 million through November 2022 and the company has agreed to further reductions if the project does not meet the revised and approved in-service dates. Additionally, as a result, the amount paid by customers will be reduced by more than $1.7 billion during the construction period.
From the beginning of the Vogtle expansion, Georgia Power has worked to pursue all available benefits for customers and minimize the impact of the new units on electric bills. In September, the company announced a new conditional commitment of approximately $1.67 billion in additional loan guarantees for the project from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) illustrating renewed federal support for the project. Most recently, the company received 100 percent of parent guarantee funds available from Toshiba years earlier than expected and will use every dollar to benefit customers. The parent guarantee payments from Toshiba, in addition to the penalties in place for the company, are contributing approximately $2.75 billion which will reduce the total cost of the project.
Final approval and issuance of the additional loan guarantees by the DOE cannot be assured and are subject to the negotiation of definitive agreements, completion of due diligence by the DOE, receipt of any necessary regulatory approvals, and satisfaction of other conditions.
Read more about the decision to complete Vogtle 3 and 4 here.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Certain information contained in this communication is forward-looking information based on current expectations and plans that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking information includes, among other things, statements concerning additional DOE loan guarantees and other future actions related to Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4. Georgia Power cautions that there are certain factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information that has been provided. The reader is cautioned not to put undue reliance on this forward-looking information, which is not a guarantee of future performance and is subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside the control of Georgia Power; accordingly, there can be no assurance that such suggested results will be realized. The following factors, in addition to those discussed in Georgia Power's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016, and subsequent securities filings, could cause actual results to differ materially from management expectations as suggested by such forward-looking information: the impact of any failure to extend the in-service deadline for federal production tax credits; the impact of any failure to amend the DOE loan guarantee to allow for additional borrowings; state and federal rate regulations and the impact of pending and future rate cases and negotiations; the impact of recent and future federal and state regulatory changes, as well as changes in application of existing laws and regulations; current and future litigation, regulatory investigations, proceedings, or inquiries; available sources and costs of fuels; effects of inflation; the ability to control costs and avoid cost overruns during the development construction and operation of facilities, which include the development and construction of generating facilities with designs that have not been finalized or previously constructed; the ability to construct facilities in accordance with the requirements of permits and licenses, to satisfy any environmental performance standards and the requirements of tax credits and other incentives, and to integrate facilities into the Southern Company system upon completion of construction; advances in technology; legal proceedings and regulatory approvals and actions related to Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4, including Georgia Public Service Commission approvals and Nuclear Regulatory Commission actions; interest rate fluctuations and financial market conditions and the results of financing efforts; changes in The Southern Company's or Georgia Power's credit ratings, including impacts on interest rates, access to capital markets, and collateral requirements; the impacts of any sovereign financial issues, including impacts on interest rates, access to capital markets, impacts on foreign currency exchange rates, counterparty performance, and the economy in general, as well as potential impacts on the benefits of DOE loan guarantees; and the effect of accounting pronouncements issued periodically by standard setting bodies. Georgia Power expressly disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking information.