Georgia Power today announced Vogtle Unit 3 plant systems have successfully reached normal operating pressure and temperature during hot functional testing. Over the next several weeks, plant systems will continue to be tested at normal operating pressure and temperature.
Hot functional testing started on April 25 and marks the last series of major tests for the new nuclear unit ahead of fuel load. The testing represents a significant step towards operations and providing customers with a reliable, carbon-free energy source for the next 60 to 80 years.
Hot functional testing is conducted to verify the successful operation of reactor components and systems together and confirm the reactor is ready for fuel load. As part of the testing, the site team is currently running Unit 3 plant systems at normal operating pressure and temperature without nuclear fuel.
Nuclear operators are using the heat generated by the unit’s four reactor coolant pumps to sustain the temperature and pressure of plant systems at normal operating levels, and the unit’s main turbine will be raised to normal operating speed using steam from the plant. Operators are also able to exercise and validate procedures as required ahead of fuel load.
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.