Georgia Power has ordered the first nuclear fuel load for Vogtle Unit 3, the first nuclear fuel order to be placed in more than 30 years for a newly-designed reactor in the U.S. The fuel order marks another significant milestone at the Vogtle nuclear expansion near Waynesboro, Georgia.
Consisting of 157 fuel assemblies with each measuring 14 feet tall, the fuel will eventually be loaded into the Unit 3 reactor vessel to support startup once the reactor begins operating. After this initial fueling, approximately one third of the total fuel assemblies will be replaced during each refueling outage after the units begin operating, similar to the process used at existing Vogtle units 1 and 2.
The fuel order for Vogtle Unit 3 comes just months after the placement of the containment vessel top, which was witnessed by U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, North America's Building Trades Unions President Sean McGarvey, members of Congress and all five members of the Georgia Public Service Commission, signifying that all modules and large components have been placed inside the unit.
In addition, the placement of three low-pressure turbine rotors and the generator rotor inside the Unit 3 turbine building have also been completed. The turbine rotors, weighing approximately 200 tons each and rotating at 1,800 revolutions per minute, will pass steam through the turbine blades to power the generator and supply electricity to the grid. The high-pressure turbine rotor will be installed in the coming weeks.
The generator rotor is the moving component of the electromagnetic system of the electric generator. As the turbines rotate, they turn the generator rotor. The generator rotor is surrounded by the generator stator that work together creating an electromagnetic field to generate electricity.
Significant progress continues to be made at the construction site as the project workforce remains at an all-time high with approximately 8,000 workers on site. With 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.
Follow the progress being made at the site with new aerial photos, including the Unit 3 containment vessel top now in place, on the Plant Vogtle 3 & 4 Online Photo Gallery