Georgia Power has ordered the first nuclear fuel load for Vogtle Unit 4, completing the initial fuel order needed to operate the first newly-designed reactors in the U.S. in 30 years. Fuel for Unit 3 was ordered last summer and completing the fuel order for Unit 4 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 reactor vessels to support startup once the reactors begin operating. After the 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 & 2.
In addition, workers have successfully installed 10 of the 16 shield building courses of panels that surround the Unit 4 containment vessel. The shield building is a unique feature of the AP1000 reactor design for Vogtle 3 & 4, providing an additional layer of safety around the containment vessel and nuclear reactor to protect the structure from any potential impacts.
Vogtle 3 & 4 is currently the largest jobs-producing construction project in the state of Georgia with more than 9,000 workers currently on site, and more than 800 permanent jobs available once the units begin operating.
Significant progress continues to be made at the construction site, with the project now approximately 84% complete. Follow the progress being made at the site with the Plant Vogtle 3 & 4 Online Photo Gallery and Georgia Power YouTube channel.