Georgia Power's Vogtle Unit 4 has begun integrated flush, the testing process that pushes water through the permanent plant system piping that feeds into the reactor vessel and reactor coolant loops. This is the latest in a number of significant milestones recently achieved at the Vogtle nuclear expansion project and marks another step towards operations and providing customers with a clean, carbon-free energy source.
Last month the project received the historic first nuclear fuel shipment for Vogtle Unit 3, placed the two-million-pound roof of the Vogtle Unit 4 shield building and completed the pre-operational condenser vacuum test of the Vogtle Unit 3 turbine system in preparation for hot functional testing.
Integrated flush represents a critical step as the process is key to helping ensure the safe startup of Unit 4 and marks the start of extensive testing ahead for the unit's systems. Over the next few months, site personnel at the Vogtle nuclear expansion project will work through this process to clean and test the system piping ahead of testing of Unit 4.
This process will start with the chemical and volume control system and spent fuel pool cooling system, and continue into the reactor coolant system, the passive core cooling system, and the normal residual heat removal system as they are turned over from construction to the system operations teams.
Additional milestones recently achieved include:
- Unit 3 Nuclear Fuel Receipt – With the receipt of the first nuclear fuel assemblies in December, the site is preparing for the last major test remaining for Unit 3, hot functional testing, ahead of initial fuel load.
- Unit 3 Condenser Vacuum Test – The test was conducted with the main turbine on turning gear and by operating supporting systems to establish the condenser vacuum, which is necessary to demonstrate the steam supply and water-cooling systems operate together and are ready to support hot functional testing and initial fuel load in the reactor.
- Completion of Unit 3 Cold Hydro Testing – Confirmed the reactor's coolant system functions as designed and verified the welds, joints, pipes and other components of the coolant system and associated high-pressure systems do not leak when under pressure.
- Emergency Preparedness Drill – Vogtle 3 & 4 completed a required emergency preparedness exercise for a simulated emergency event for Vogtle Unit 3. Teams participated in the simulation and demonstrated their ability to effectively and efficiently respond and protect the health and safety of the public.
Carbon-free energy source
The new Vogtle units are an essential part of Georgia Power's commitment to deliver safe, clean, reliable and affordable energy for customers and play a significant role in supporting Southern Company's goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Once operating, the two new units at Plant Vogtle will be able to power more than 500,000 homes and businesses. A diverse fuel mix, including nuclear, is also essential to maintaining a reliable and affordable energy infrastructure that attracts new investment, supports economic growth and creates jobs.
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.
Photos highlight progress
Follow the progress being made at the site of the nation's first new nuclear units in more than 30 years through the Plant Vogtle 3 & 4 Online Photo Gallery and Georgia Power's YouTube channel.
About Georgia Power
Georgia Power is the largest electric subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), America's premier energy company. Value, Reliability, Customer Service and Stewardship are the cornerstones of the company's promise to 2.6 million customers in all but four of Georgia's 159 counties. Committed to delivering clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy at rates below the national average, Georgia Power maintains a diverse, innovative generation mix that includes nuclear, coal and natural gas, as well as renewables such as solar, hydroelectric and wind. Georgia Power focuses on delivering world-class service to its customers every day and the company is recognized by J.D. Power as an industry leader in customer satisfaction. For more information, visit www.GeorgiaPower.com and connect with the company on Facebook (Facebook.com/GeorgiaPower), Twitter (Twitter.com/GeorgiaPower) and Instagram (Instagram.com/ga_power).