Georgia Power on 25 June announced plant systems at unit 3 of the Vogtle NPP had achieved 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 25 April and marks the last series of major tests for the new nuclear unit ahead of fuel loading. Hot functional testing is conducted to verify the 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 AP1000 reactors at units 3 & 4 of the Vogtle plant will be able to power more than 500,000 homes and businesses. 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.