The second steam generator has been installed at unit 3 of the Vogtle nuclear plant under construction in the US state of Georgia, positioned adjacent to the first steam generator, which was put in place in August. The two AP1000 reactors under construction at Vogtle 3&4 each require two steam generators, all of which have been delivered to the site. They were fabricated in South Korea and transported to the site through the Port of Savannah and then by rail.
Georgia Power owns 45.7% of the construction project at Vogtle, with Oglethorpe Power (30%), MEAG Power (22.7%) and Dalton Utilities (1.6%). After Westinghouse, which was building the plants, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this year, Southern Company, which operates Vogtle 1&2, assumed control of the site. Since then construction has accelerated, the company said.
Georgia Power, which contracted with Bechtel to manage daily construction efforts under Southern Nuclear’s direction, in August filed a recommendation with the Georgia Public Service Commission to complete construction of the two AP1000 units. US Energy Secretary Rick Perry announced on 29 September further support of up to $3.7bn in loan guarantees to the Vogtle project owners, after the Department of Energy had guaranteed $8.3bn in loans.
Other milestones achieved in recent weeks include a critical concrete 'super placement' for Vogtle 3 and the lift of the 237-tonne CA03 module for Vogtle 4, part of the in-containment refuelling water storage tank (IRWST). The 71-hour continuous concrete placement (1410 cubic metres) at Vogtle 3 was for the refuelling cavity, the bottom of the IRWST, the west steam generator cubicle walls and the pressurizer cubicle walls.
Other recent achievements include placement of the 35-tonne CA33 floor module at unit 3 and installation of Vogtle 4's deaerator inside the turbine building.
Vogtle 3 is expected to start commercial operation in November 2021 followed by unit 4 a year later.
Photo: Second accumulator tank placed inside Vogtle 3 containment vessel (Credit: Georgia Power)