Open Vessel Testing, a major systems testing milestone, has been completed for Unit 3 at Georgia Power's Vogtle 3 & 4 nuclear expansion project near Waynesboro, Georgia, marking one of the most significant accomplishments in the project to date.
Open Vessel Testing has successfully demonstrated how water flows from the key safety systems into the reactor vessel ensuring the paths are not blocked or constricted. It also prepares Unit 3 for cold hydro testing and hot functional testing – both critical tests required ahead of initial fuel load. The milestone has confirmed that the pumps, motors, valves, pipes and other components of the systems function as designed.
Plant operators performed many of the tasks associated with Open Vessel Testing from the Unit 3 main control room, which began operating in December and is staffed around the clock.
“The completion of Open Vessel Testing is a major accomplishment for the project and brings us an important step closer to generating electricity for our customers as we continue the transition from construction towards system operations,” said Vogtle 3 & 4 Construction Executive Vice President Glen Chick.
Significant progress continues at the site with the project now 85% complete, and direct construction of Unit 3 now 90% complete. Major milestones achieved in recent weeks include the placement of the Unit 4 polar crane and containment vessel top, signifying that all major lifts inside the containment vessels for both units are now complete.
Additional milestones achieved over the last few months include:
Historic milestones accomplished over the past year include:
With more than 7,000 workers on site, and more than 800 permanent jobs available once the units begin operating, Vogtle 3 & 4 is currently the largest jobs-producing construction project in the state of Georgia.
As the coronavirus continues to spread, Georgia Power wants to assure our customers that we have comprehensive plans in place to continue our operations.