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First steam generator in place at Vogtle

The first steam generator has been placed in the containment of Vogtle unit 3, the first major lift carried out since Southern Nuclear took charge of oversight activities at the AP1000 construction site in Georgia.

Each of the two AP1000s under construction at the project to expand the existing Vogtle nuclear power plant near Waynesboro requires two steam generators. At nearly 80 feet (24 metres) in length and weighing 1.4 million pounds (635 tonnes), they are some of the plant’s largest components. The four steam generators for Vogtle units 3 and 4 were fabricated in South Korea and are already at the Georgia site.

Construction began on Vogtle 3 in March 2013, the same month as South Carolina Electric & Gas’s (SCE&G) VC Summer unit 2. By the end of 2013, four Westinghouse-designed AP1000 reactors were under construction in the USA after work began on Summer 3 and Vogtle 4 that November.

Work has continued uninterrupted at Vogtle since Westinghouse filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March. Project management and control transitioned to Southern Nuclear after a services agreement between Westinghouse and Vogtle’s co-owners – Southern Company subsidiary Georgia Power (45.7%), Oglethorpe Power (30%), MEAG Power (22.7%) and Dalton city (1.6%) – became effective on 27 July. Before that, work had continued under an interim assessment agreement.

Westinghouse’s parent company, Toshiba Corporation, agreed in June to pay Vogtle’s owners a maximum of $3.68 billion under parental guarantees put in place when Westinghouse received the order for the units in 2008. A similar agreement, capped at $2.168 billion, was reached with Summer’s owners in July.

Georgia Power yesterday said it is continuing work to complete its comprehensive schedule and assessments of cost-to-complete and cancellation costs for the Vogtle project by the end of the month. It expects to file its final recommendation with the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) as part of its 17th construction monitoring report on the plant.

“Once submitted, Georgia Power will work with the Georgia PSC to determine the best path forward for customers,” the company said.

Scana Corporation subsidiary SCE&G announced on 31 July it would abandon the Summer project, but earlier this week withdrew its request for permission from state regulators to proceed with the plan, pending the completion of governmental reviews.

Source: World Nuclear News

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