Vogtle Unit 2 idled to allow scheduled refueling

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Plant Vogtle’s Unit 2 nuclear power reactor was shut down this week for scheduled refueling and maintenance that typically occurs about every 18 months, according to Southern Nuclear officials.

The last refueling for unit 2 was completed in the fall of 2011 and the unit’s most recent shutdown occurred in late Feb. 26, when an issue with a coolant pump prompted a non-emergency shutdown that kept the unit offline for two to three days.

Employees from other Southern Nuclear facilities are assisting Vogtle’s 900-person staff in the refueling effort. More than 800 additional workers from Westinghouse, General Electric, Williams and other partners are also on site performing various tasks.

During the scheduled refueling, the Burke County site’s Unit 1 will continue normal power generation.

Plant Vogtle’s Units 1 and 2 went online in 1987 and 1989.

The plant is also the site of a major expansion that involves two new Westinghouse AP-1000 reactors now scheduled to begin commercial operation during the fourth quarter of 2017 and 2018.

The $14 billion project cost was recently adjusted to about $14.7 billion, based on data provided to the Georgia Public Service Commission last month.

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