Vogtle 3 shield building takes shape

20 August 2015

The installation of shield building panels has begun at the first AP1000 unit under construction at the Vogtle plant in Georgia, USA. The shield building encases the unit's containment vessel.

Vogtle 3 building panel installation - 460 (Georgia Power)
One of the first shield panels is put in place at Vogtle 3 (Image: Georgia Power)

Plant owner Georgia Power announced yesterday that the first six of the shield building's 160 steel panels had recently be installed. Each reinforced panel can weigh more than 10 tonnes and can be filled with concrete.

Once completely assembled, the shield building will provide structural support for the containment cooling water supply and protect the containment vessel, which houses the reactor vessel and associated equipment.

Earlier this month, Georgia Power announced the installation of Vogtle 3's CA01 module, the "heaviest lift" of the project. The steel CA01 module - weighing more than 1030 tonnes and with a height of 21 metres and width of 23 metres - will house the unit's two steam generators and other equipment.

On 18 August, the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) verified and approved $169 million in capital and construction costs submitted by Georgia Power as part of the latest Vogtle Construction Monitoring Report. The Georgia PSC reviews costs for the project every six months and has so far verified and approved all costs submitted by the company since the project began. Up to the end of December 2014, Georgia Power's investment in the Vogtle expansion project has totalled some $2.96 billion.

Two Westinghouse AP1000 reactors are under construction at Vogtle, joining two existing pressurized water reactors. Construction began on Vogtle 3 in March 2013, and the unit is expected to enter operation by the middle of 2019. Vogtle 4, under construction since November 2013, is expected to enter service by mid-2020. Two AP1000s are also under construction at VC Summer in South Carolina, while four units under construction at Sanmen and Haiyang in China are scheduled to be in operation by the end of 2017.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News