Fuel loading began on October 13, 2022. The first fuel assemblies began arriving on site in December 2020.
(Photo Credit: Georgia Power Construction Gallery, September 2022)
Unit 3 remains on schedule to enter service by the end of March 2023, with Unit 4 scheduled to do the same not long afterward, by the end of December 2023.
Click to play this short video announcement that Southern Company published on their website:
Nuclear Newswire summarized the history of the Vogtle project, reporting that “Major work on the Vogtle-3 and -4 project began in 2012, with a price tag of $14 billion and scheduled unit start dates of 2016 and 2017. The project’s total cost is now expected to exceed $30 billion.”
“Once operating, the units are expected to power more than 500,000 homes and businesses.”
On its Vogtle 3 and 4 website, Southern Company explains the next steps following the successful completion of fuel loading.
“Startup testing will begin next and 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 electric grid and systematically raise power to 100%.”
Unit 3’s last major milestone was the completion of hot functional testing, which was required to begin loading fuel. “During hot functional testing, plant systems achieved normal operating pressure and temperature, without nuclear fuel, to verify the successful operation of reactor components and systems together,” explains Southern Company.