Nuclear Energy: A Smart Resource
Nuclear energy is the most cost-effective, reliable and environmentally responsible fuel source available today. Nuclear energy fits in Georgia Power's mix of smart energy sources. It's a proven technology that produces no greenhouse gas emissions and whose cost to consumers does not fluctuate (unlike coal and natural gas prices).
Rising Energy Demands
By 2025 Georgia expects to almost 1.5 million new residents. By 2030, electrical demand is projected to increase 27% in the Southeast. Additionally, current and pending legislation and environmental standards are impacting electricity generation fueled by coal. Georgia Power plans to use nuclear units to extend reliable and affordable supplies of electricity in our state.
Georgia Power already operates two nuclear facilities: Hatch and Vogtle, both with multiple generating units. Plant Vogtle was constructed with the option to expand. With operations expected in 2019 and 2020, Vogtle units 3 and 4 will be the first new nuclear units built in the U.S. in the last three decades.
New Nuclear Energy
Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4 will be the first in the industry to use the Westinghouse AP1000 advanced pressurized water reactor technology. This advanced technology allows nuclear cores to be cooled even in the absence of operator interventions or mechanical assistance. The AP1000 is the safest and most economical nuclear power plant available in the worldwide commercial marketplace, and is the only Generation III+ reactor to receive Design Certification from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).
In the event of an emergency, new nuclear systems rely more heavily on forces like gravity and natural heat convection and less on pumps, valves, diesel generators and operator actions. New nuclear plants are designed to effectively and safely shutdown using the natural forces of gravity, natural circulation and compressed gases to keep the core and containment from overheating.
The AP1000's simplified plant design results in a plant that is easier and less expensive to to build, operate and maintain. The plant's design has:
- 50 percent fewer valves
- 35 percent fewer pumps
- 80 percent less piping
- 45 percent less building volume
- 70 percent less cable
than earlier-generation nuclear plants. The modular design also allows for faster construction.
Licensing Process Today
Today's design certification process enables plant designers to secure advance Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approval of standardized plant designs. The early site permit process also enables companies to obtain approval from the NRC for a nuclear power plant site before deciding to build a plant. Obtaining a combined construction permit and operating license prior to construction assures companies that all safety issues associated with the plant are resolved before work begins on the new plant. Learn more about the Part 52 New Licensing Process.
Vogtle Units 3 and 4 are the first new nuclear units built in the U.S. in the last three decades.
Plant Vogtle Job Opportunities
Plant Vogtle is the largest job-producing project in Georgia. At the height of construction, it will employ approximately 5,000 people and, once operational, will offer 800 permanent jobs for Georgians. See Plant Vogtle See Plant Vogtle job opportunities.
New Nuclear at Plant Vogtle
See how Vogtle Units 3 & 4 are using new nuclear technology and the benefits they will bring to the state of Georgia. Watch Video on MotherNatureNetwork.
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