Delays in Unit 3 hot functional testing have set the commercial operations schedule of the new reactor at the Plant Vogtle expansion project in Waynesboro, Georgia, back three weeks to a likely start in early 2022, said Georgia Power this week.
Delays have pushed start up back from November 2021 to sometime in early 2022, as hot functional testing is now expected to last three weeks longer than first anticipated.
The delay is the latest in a long series of setbacks in terms of scheduling and budgeting. The original start dates for Units 3 and 4 were in 2016 and 2017. The original budget for the project, $14 billion, has ballooned to $25 billion.
The Vogtle expansion project was one of two reactor construction projects in the United States until August 2017, when owners of the V.C. Summer expansion project – another two-reactor project – dropped their commitments to complete their project. The owners, South Carolina Electric and Gas and Santee Cooper, cited changing demand and energy market economics, as well as the bankruptcy of Westinghouse Electric, designer of the AP1000 pressurized water reactors under construction there and in Georgia.
In Georgia, Vogtle Unit 3 construction is now considered 98 percent completed. For the fourth unit, about a year behind, placement of the final major crane lifted module – a huge water tank – was set atop Unit 4 in April.
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Setbacks due to incompetent engineering org completing the design. Hands down the worst possible choice to entrust the future of nuclear power. How does a host of companies get conned? English teachers posing as engineers(WEC) and general lack of questioning attitude from the customer. Ignorance along with the regulator watching it's future fade with decommissioning of the nuclear fleet
The objective is to get it right. Budget and time are secondary. Good luck.