US-based Georgia Power expects to adjust key milestones at the Vogtle NPP, although the regulatory in-service dates for units 3 and 4 remain unchanged.
Georgia Power said that, since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Georgia Power and Southern Nuclear had made "significant adjustments" to work practices at the Vogtle 3&4 project site, “to protect the health and safety of the project workforce and the surrounding community while maintaining productivity”.
Since October, the site has seen a significant increase in COVID-19 cases, consistent with the broader regional and national rise in cases. “This increase, combined with other productivity challenges, continues to impact construction production and the pace of testing activity completion,” Georgia Power said.
As a result, the project team is analysing the schedule for key milestones, including the start of hot functional testing and fuel loading for Vogtle 3, and expects to adjust those dates. However, Georgia Power continues to expect to meet its commitment to achieve the November 2021 and 2022 regulatory-approved in-service dates for the two units. Further updates will be provided in connection with the Southern Company quarterly earnings call in February 2021.
Construction of Vogtle 3 began in March 2013 and Vogtle 4 in November 2014. Both units are Westinghouse AP1000 reactors. Southern Nuclear and Georgia Power took over management of the project following Westinghouse's Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March 2017.