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New Nuclear Unit in Georgia Enters Commercial Operation

Georgia Power on July 31 said that Plant Vogtle Unit 3, a new nuclear power unit in Georgia, has entered commercial operation.

Vogtle Unit 3 is the first newly-constructed nuclear unit in the U.S. in over 30 years.

Southern Nuclear will operate Vogtle 3 and a second new unit, Vogtle 4, on behalf of the co-owners: Georgia Power, Oglethorpe Power and public power utilities MEAG Power and Dalton Utilities. MEAG Power is a 22.7% co-owner of Plant Vogtle, including the new units, while Dalton Utilities is a 1.6% co-owner of the plant.

Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4 are two 1,100-megawatt Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear reactors.

The final stages of construction and testing continue at Vogtle Unit 4, with the unit projected to be placed in service during the late fourth quarter 2023 or the first quarter of 2024.  

The unit completed hot functional testing in May, in significantly less time than Unit 3 as the team continues leveraging best practices and learnings from the earlier unit. The Vogtle site has also received nuclear fuel for Unit 4, with a total of 157 fuel assemblies necessary for the safe and reliable startup of the unit.

Also, last week, Georgia Power announced the receipt of the 103(g) finding from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for Vogtle Unit 4. 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.

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