Georgia Power hires Summer operators for Vogtle

01 March 2018

Georgia Power has hired 14 operators for Vogtle 3 and 4 from the abandoned VC Summer nuclear project. In its latest report to the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC), the company said this will save nearly two years of training time and costs.

Vogtle 3 - January 2018 - 460 (Georgia Power)
Vogtle unit 3, pictured in January 2018 (Image: Georgia Power)

Georgia Power is required to file reports with the PSC every six month to provide an update on construction progress and other information related to the construction the two AP1000 units. The 18th VCM report, filed yesterday, covers the period from 1 July to 31 December 2017, and is the first since the PSC's decision in December to approve Georgia Power's recommendation to complete the units.

The latest report includes a revised, lower projected rate impact for customers and outlines continued progress and productivity improvement at the construction site near Waynesboro, Georgia. It also reaffirms the target in-service dates of November 2021 for Vogtle 3 and November 2022 for Vogtle 4, and that completing the units remains the best cost option to meeting the state's future energy needs following contractor Westinghouse's Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in March 2017.

Construction work has continued, with Southern Nuclear taking over as project manager at the site and Bechtel managing construction. The 18th VCM report notes that productivity at the construction site has improved since Southern Nuclear assumed overall project management. Construction work is currently tracking ahead of the plan to achieve the target in-service dates, Georgia Power said.

The past six months have seen construction progress on both units. Key modules and components including both steam generators and the pressuriser for unit 3, and structural modules CA02 and CA03 for unit 4, have been installed and thousands of tonnes of rebar and tens of thousands of cubic yards of concrete placed throughout the site, the company said. Major equipment, including squib valves for both units, the passive residual heat removal heat exchanger and the reactor vessel internals for unit 4 have been delivered, and most of the modules and equipment needed to complete the project is now onsite.

The company must ensure the necessary number of licensed operators are in place to support fuel loading at the two units.

Scana Corporation subsidiary South Carolina Electric & Gas in August decided to cease construction of two AP1000 reactors at VC Summer in South Carolina, and 14 operators who passed the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) exam at VC Summer have now been hired by Georgia Power. Thirty-six Vogtle candidates have now passed the NRC operator licensing exam, and further candidates are preparing to sit the NRC Initial License Training exam later this month. Another wave of candidates is due to begin training for the NRC exams in June.

The PSC in January approved a revised capital cost forecast for the Vogtle project of $7.3 billion. Georgia Power is requesting PSC verification and approval of $448 million of capital expenditures incurred during the reporting period for the 18th VCM.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News