Plant operators safely took Unit 1 of the Alvin W. Vogtle nuclear plant offline on Sept. 16 for a scheduled refueling and maintenance outage, Southern Co. (NYSE: SO) said Sept. 17.
The last refueling outage for Unit 1 was completed in spring 2011. Each unit at Vogtle requires new fuel every 18 months. In addition to refueling the reactor and performing regular maintenance and testing, workers will make upgrades to plant systems and components. Vogtle Unit 2 will continue to generate electricity while Unit 1 is offline.
“Vogtle unit 1 marked its 25th year of safe, reliable operations in May of this year. Our constant dedication to the maintenance of this facility is what allows milestones like that to be achieved,” said Tom Tynan, site vice president for Vogtle Units 1 and 2. “Planning for every outage begins years in advance. We constantly raise the bar and challenge ourselves throughout the process to ensure readiness and top performance. I know our efforts will culminate in a refueling outage that is safe and efficient.”
Employees from across the Southern Nuclear fleet are assisting Vogtle staff in the refueling effort. Hundreds of additional workers from Westinghouse, General Electric, Williams and other partners are on site performing specialized tasks, Southern Co. noted.
Southern Nuclear is one of the nation’s leading nuclear energy facility operators. It operates a total of six units for Southern Co.’s Alabama Power and Georgia Power subsidiaries at the Joseph M. Farley plant near Dothan, Ala.; the Edwin I. Hatch plant near Baxley, Ga., and Vogtle near Waynesboro, Ga. Southern Nuclear is the licensee of two new nuclear units currently under construction at Vogtle, which will be the first nuclear units constructed in the U.S. in more than 30 years.