Vogtle installs steam generator in new reactor under construction

Even as Georgia Power and its partners prepare a report for later this month on what it would cost to finish two new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle, work there continues with the installation of a massive steam generator in one reactor.

Georgia Power announced today that a 1.4 million pound steam generator was lowered into the nuclear island of Unit 3 on Tuesday. The nearly 80-foot generator was built in South Korea and shipped to the Port of Savannah and delivered to the site by rail, the company said in a news release. The generators use heat from the nuclear core to convert water into steam for power generation. Each of the two new-generation AP1000 reactors will require two steam generators, all of which are currently on site, the company said.

Southern Nuclear, a division of Georgia Power parent company Southern Co., now has oversight over the expansion after contractor Westinghouse declared bankruptcy in March. Southern Nuclear operates the other two reactors at Vogtle.

Georgia Power, which owns 45.7 percent of the expansion, is currently compiling a report on what the final costs and schedule would be for completing the expansion and a recommendation on whether to proceed that will be delivered to the Georgia Public Service Commission by month’s end. The commission will then work with the utilities to decide whether the project will continue.

Reach Tom Corwin at (706) 823-3213 or tom.corwin@augustachronicle.com.

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