By Editors of Power Engineering
Georgia Power has completed its assessments of the Vogtle nuclear expansion, and has filed a recommendation with the Georgia Public Service Commission to finish the project.
Co-owners Oglethorpe Power, MEAG Power and Dalton Utilities all support the recommendation. However, the final decision on the expansion will be up to the Georgia PSC.
“Completing the Vogtle 3 & 4 expansion will enable us to continue delivering clean, safe, affordable and reliable energy to millions of Georgians, both today and in the future,” said Paul Bowers, chairman, president and CEO of Georgia Power. “The two new units at Plant Vogtle will be in service for 60 to 80 years and will add another low-cost, carbon-free energy source to our already diverse fuel mix.”
The company called completion of the project “the most economic choice for customers” and a source of emission-free generation.
The full cost to complete was estimated at $19 billion. Of that, Georgia Power anticipates its share will be $8.8 billion. Toshiba has agreed to pay $1.7 billion toward the project due to the former involvement of now-bankrupt nuclear contractor Westinghouse Electric. Contracting duties are now being handled by Southern Nuclear, with Bechtel managing daily construction efforts.
Even with the bankruptcy of Westinghouse, Georgia Power’s plan calls for the use of Westinghouse AP1000 reactors.
Georgia Power estimates Vogtle Unit 3 will be operational by November 2021 and Unit 4 in 2022.
The company did not publically share the costs and timetables of other options requested by the Georgia PSC, including abandoning the project, just finishing one reactor or switching to a different type of power source.
Construction continues on the Vogtle expansion, including placement of a 1.4 million-pound steam generator at Unit 3, placement of the Unit 4 pressurizer compartment and the placement of two of the four accumulator tanks.