At Vogtle: Last Big Unit 3 Modules In Place; Unit 4 Tower Complete

Georgia Power said Wednesday that the last of the "Big 6" modules had been placed in the nuclear island for Unit 3 at the Vogtle expansion project near Waynesboro, Ga. The modules, CA02 and CA03, weigh 52 tons and 237 tons respectively, and are critical components of the In-Containment Refueling Water Storage Tank (IRWST).

Georgia Power CA03The IRWST is a 75,300 cubic foot tank that, once the units are operational, is filled with borated water and provides passive heatsink within containment and backup cooling for the reactor vessel.

Both modules were assembled onsite, moved to the nuclear island as single pieces and lifted into place by a 560-foot tall heavy lift derrick, one of the largest cranes in the world. The "Big 6" modules for Unit 3 also include the previously placed CA01, CA04, CA05 and CA20.

A time-lapsed video of the CA03 placement is provided below.

In addition to the placement of the latest modules, vertical construction of the Unit 4 cooling tower is now complete at 601 feet. As part of the plant's water circulation and cooling process, cooling towers improve efficiency and reduce the volume of water used to operate the plant. 

The Vogtle expansion is the largest construction project in Georgia with more than 5,000 workers onsite today and 800 permanent future jobs. When the new units join the existing two units already in operation, Plant Vogtle is expected to generate more electricity than any other U.S. nuclear facility, enough to power more than one million homes and businesses.  

The projected overall peak rate impact of the Vogtle nuclear expansion continues to be significantly less than when the project was originally certified due to lower financing rates, other benefits the company has proactively pursued and the fuel savings of nuclear.  The company projects that, even with the new costs and schedule forecast, the peak rate impact will be approximately 6 to 7 percent – which is nearly half of the original rate impact forecast. Of this, approximately 4.5 percent is already in rates. Once the new units come online, they are expected to put downward pressure on rates and deliver long-term savings for Georgia customers.

Here is the clip: