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Georgia Power: Historic Nuclear Regulatory Commission 103(g) finding marks a critical step leading up to Vogtle Unit 3 fuel load

Georgia Power, Southern Nuclear look to next steps, startup process for the new unit / Georgia Power

Georgia Power announced recently a historic milestone in the completion of Vogtle Unit 3 near Waynesboro, Ga. – the receipt of the 103(g) finding from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

This finding was confirmed in an official letter received by Southern Nuclear and signifies that the new unit has been constructed and will be operated in conformance with the Combined License and NRC regulations. No further NRC findings are necessary in order for Southern Nuclear to load fuel or begin the startup sequence for the new unit.

“Today’s finding by the NRC helps ensure we have met our commitment to building Vogtle 3 & 4 with the highest safety and quality standards,” said Chris Womack, chairman, president and CEO of Georgia Power. “These new units remain a strong long-term investment for this state, and, once operating, are expected to provide customers with a reliable and resilient, clean, emission-free source of energy for the next 60 to 80 years. That’s why we’ve been so committed to getting this project done right – it’s about serving our customers today and for decades to come.”

The issuance of the 103(g) finding follows years of diligent and careful work by the team at the site to submit documentation that Unit 3 has satisfied 398 required inspections, tests, analyses, and acceptance criteria (ITAACs) as outlined in Southern Nuclear’s Combined License – helping ensure the unit meets strict nuclear safety and quality standards. This process was completed on July 29, and the NRC conducted a thorough review process of each submission and targeted inspections of the facility before issuing the 103(g) finding.  As required by the NRC, each ITAAC had to be verified before fuel load and operations.

The team at the site continues working diligently to make final preparations for Unit 3 fuel load, initiate startup testing and bring the unit online. Over the next several weeks, well-trained and highly qualified nuclear technicians will continue work required to support loading fuel, which is already onsite, into the unit’s reactor. This will be followed by several months of startup testing and operations. Startup testing is designed to demonstrate the integrated operation of the primary coolant system and steam supply system at design temperature and pressure with fuel inside the reactor. Operators will also bring the plant from cold shutdown to initial criticality, synchronize the Unit to the grid and systematically raise power to 100%.

The new Vogtle units are an essential part of Georgia Power’s commitment to delivering clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy, and, once operating, the two new units at Plant Vogtle are expected to power more than 500,000 homes and businesses. Additionally, the new units will be clean energy sources that produce zero air pollution.

SOURCE Georgia Power

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