Georgia Power today marked another year of safe construction and significant milestones at the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant expansion site. The new units are currently scheduled to go into service in June 2019 (Unit 3) and June 2020 (Unit 4) and the remaining projected customer rate impact is approximately 2.5 percent, an average of less than 1 percent per year through completion.
In addition to progress on the ground, the company touted the recent completion of the settlement process between the project co-owners (Georgia Power, Oglethorpe Power Corporation, the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia and Dalton Utilities) and the project’s contractors (Westinghouse and CB&I), which puts to rest all claims previously in litigation with the contractors. The settlement also reaffirms the current in-service dates, adds additional contractual protections and positions Westinghouse and its affiliates as the primary contractor over the project.
That said, the accomplishments on the ground are staggeringly impressive. Thousands of workers logged more than 11 million safe work hours without a lost time accident for the year, Georgia Power said.
Georgia Power measured structural components for Units 3 and 4 by the ton. “Thousands of tons of modular components were placed by one of the world's largest construction cranes through 2015,” the company said.
This included the June placement of the 32-ton CA04 module or reactor vessel cavity for Unit 4 and the August lift of the 1,140-ton Unit 3 CA01 module, which was the heaviest on-site lift to date at the project site.
By August, more than 160 shield building panels for Unit 3 were in place and in December, workers placed a 950-ton lower ring for Unit 4 into position.
Construction welds were measured by the mile. “Nearly four miles of on site module welding to exact design specifications,” have been accomplished “with every inch inspected and approved for safety,” said Georgia Power.
Workers have installed more than 4,300 tons of rebar, erected more than 4,200 tons of structural steel and poured more than 26,000 cubic yards of concrete. (For perspective, it took 20,000 cubic yards of concrete to construct the 60,000-seat Yankee Stadium -- the House that Ruth Built -- in the Bronx in 1923.) The pours at Vogtle included a 15-hour continuous pour for the turbine tabletop for Unit 3, the first such structure for an AP1000 design reactor in the United States.
Along with major component deliveries to the construction site throughout the year, the project also marked significant additional achievements. In November, Georgia Power announced that, with the receipt of the final National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), or water discharge permit by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD), all major permits are now in place for the new units.
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