Georgia Power Achieves 100% Power Milestone for Vogtle Unit 3

Voglte Unit 3Georgia Power has reached a significant milestone in the progress of Vogtle Unit 3, as it safely attains 100 percent power. This achievement signifies a major step towards the unit's commercial operation, promising reliable energy services to customers. With this accomplishment, Vogtle Unit 3 has reached its licensed capacity of approximately 1,100 electric MW, enough to power an estimated 500,000 homes and businesses.

Testing and Operational Excellence

Currently, Unit 3 is undergoing comprehensive testing procedures, encompassing a wide range of plant operations. These tests include the safe operation at varying power levels and the simulation of real-life conditions that the unit will encounter throughout its projected 60 to 80 years of commercial operation. Kim Greene, the chairman, president, and CEO of Georgia Power, highlights the significance of this momentous occasion, stating that reaching 100 percent power for the first time signifies the unit's safe completion and imminent deployment to provide reliable, emissions-free energy to Georgia for decades to come.

Testing at Full Power

Aligned with the power ascension phase, the focus of testing at the 100 percent power level lies in the evaluation of reactor operation, plant control systems, support systems, and integrated plant operations. Plant engineers diligently monitor and assess the unit's performance under various conditions, gathering crucial data for analysis. While achieving full power is an important milestone, further tests must be conducted at this level to ensure reliable dispatch in accordance with the unit's operating license.

The Path to Commercial Operation

Upon successful completion of all startup tests and the availability of reliable dispatch, Vogtle Unit 3 will commence its commercial operation. The anticipated timeline projects that Unit 3 will be operational by June 2023, delivering its clean and sustainable energy to benefit Georgia's homes and businesses.

Recent Achievements for Vogtle Units 3 & 4

  • Receipt of Nuclear Fuel for Unit 4: The month of May witnessed the commencement of nuclear fuel delivery for Vogtle Unit 4. A total of 157 fuel assemblies required for the safe startup of Unit 4 have been transported in specialized shipping cannisters designed specifically for non-irradiated uranium fuel assemblies. These fuel assemblies are meticulously inspected and securely stored in a fuel vault before their projected installation, expected later this year.
  • Completion of Hot Functional Testing for Unit 4: On May 1, the hot functional testing phase for Unit 4 concluded successfully, marking another crucial milestone on the path to its operational readiness.
  • Synchronization to the Grid for Unit 3: In April, Vogtle Unit 3 achieved a significant breakthrough by generating electricity for the first time. It seamlessly synchronized with and connected to the electric grid, representing a significant advancement towards its operational functionality.
  • Initial Criticality for Unit 3: In March, operators safely initiated the nuclear reaction within the Unit 3 reactor for the first time. This critical step led to the production of nuclear heat through atom splitting, which is harnessed to generate steam.

Southern Nuclear will operate these new units on behalf of the co-owners: Georgia Power, Oglethorpe Power, MEAG Power, and Dalton Utilities. Together, they strive to shape a sustainable future by delivering sustainable energy solutions to meet the growing demands of the community.

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