ATLANTA, March 5, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Georgia Power has ordered the first nuclear fuel load for Vogtle Unit 4, completing the initial fuel order needed to operate the first newly-designed reactors in the U.S. in 30 years. Fuel for Unit 3 was ordered last summer and completing the fuel order for Unit 4 marks another significant milestone at the Vogtle nuclear expansion near Waynesboro, Georgia.
Consisting of 157 fuel assemblies with each measuring 14 feet tall, the fuel will eventually be loaded into the reactor vessels to support startup once the reactors begin operating. After the initial fueling, approximately one third of the total fuel assemblies will be replaced during each refueling outage after the units begin operating, similar to the process used at existing Vogtle units 1 & 2.
In addition, workers have successfully installed 10 of the 16 shield building courses of panels that surround the Unit 4 containment vessel. The shield building is a unique feature of the AP1000 reactor design for Vogtle 3 & 4, providing an additional layer of safety around the containment vessel and nuclear reactor to protect the structure from any potential impacts.
Vogtle 3 & 4 is currently the largest jobs-producing construction project in the state of Georgia with more than 9,000 workers currently on site, and more than 800 permanent jobs available once the units begin operating.
Significant progress continues to be made at the construction site, with the project now approximately 84% complete. Follow the progress being made at the site with the Plant Vogtle 3 & 4 Online Photo Gallery and Georgia Power YouTube channel.
About Georgia Power
Georgia Power is the largest electric subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), America's premier energy company. Value, Reliability, Customer Service and Stewardship are the cornerstones of the company's promise to 2.6 million customers in all but four of Georgia's 159 counties. Committed to delivering clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy at rates below the national average, Georgia Power maintains a diverse, innovative generation mix that includes nuclear, coal and natural gas, as well as renewables such as solar, hydroelectric and wind. Georgia Power focuses on delivering world-class service to its customers every day and the company is consistently recognized by J.D. Power and Associates as an industry leader in customer satisfaction. For more information, visit www.GeorgiaPower.com and connect with the company on Facebook (Facebook.com/GeorgiaPower), Twitter (Twitter.com/GeorgiaPower) and Instagram (Instagram.com/ga_power).
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Certain information contained in this release is forward-looking information based on current expectations and plans that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking information includes, among other things, statements concerning the expected schedule for construction of Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4 and job creation. Georgia Power cautions that there are certain factors that can cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information that has been provided. The reader is cautioned not to put undue reliance on this forward-looking information, which is not a guarantee of future performance and is subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside the control of Georgia Power; accordingly, there can be no assurance that such suggested results will be realized. The following factors, in addition to those discussed in Georgia Power's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019 and subsequent securities filings, could cause actual results to differ materially from management expectations as suggested by such forward-looking information: the ability to control costs and avoid cost and schedule overruns during the development, construction, and operation of facilities or other projects, including Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4, which includes components based on new technology that only within the last few years began initial operation in the global nuclear industry at this scale, and including changes in labor costs, availability and productivity; challenges with management of contractors or vendors; subcontractor performance; adverse weather conditions; shortages, delays, increased costs, or inconsistent quality of equipment, materials, and labor; contractor or supplier delay; delays due to judicial or regulatory action; nonperformance under construction, operating, or other agreements; operational readiness, including specialized operator training and required site safety programs; engineering or design problems; design and other licensing-based compliance matters, including, for nuclear units, the timely submittal by Southern Nuclear of the Inspections, Tests, Analyses, and Acceptance Criteria documentation for each unit and the related reviews and approvals by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission ("NRC") necessary to support NRC authorization to load fuel; challenges with start-up activities, including major equipment failure, system integration or regional transmission upgrades; and/or operational performance; the ability to overcome or mitigate the current challenges at Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4 that could impact the cost and schedule for the project; legal proceedings and regulatory approvals and actions related to construction projects, such as Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4 and pipeline projects, including Public Service Commission approvals and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and NRC actions; under certain specified circumstances, a decision by holders of more than 10% of the ownership interests of Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4 not to proceed with construction and the ability of other Vogtle owners to tender a portion of their ownership interests to Georgia Power following certain construction cost increases; the ability to construct facilities in accordance with the requirements of permits and licenses (including satisfaction of NRC requirements), to satisfy any environmental performance standards and the requirements of tax credits and other incentives, and to integrate facilities into the Southern Company system upon completion of construction; the inherent risks involved in operating and constructing nuclear generating facilities; the ability of counterparties of Georgia Power to make payments as and when due and to perform as required; the direct or indirect effect on Georgia Power's business resulting from cyber intrusion or physical attack and the threat of physical attacks; catastrophic events such as fires, earthquakes, explosions, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes and other storms, droughts, pandemic health events or other similar occurrences; and the direct or indirect effects on Georgia Power's business resulting from incidents affecting the U.S. electric grid, natural gas pipeline infrastructure, or operation of generating or storage resources. Georgia Power expressly disclaims any obligation to update any forward‐looking information.
SOURCE Georgia Power