Employees safely return Plant Vogtle’s unit 1 to service following planned refueling and maintenance outage

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Oct. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Unit 1 of the Alvin M. Vogtle Nuclear Plant near Waynesboro, Ga., has safely resumed generating electricity following completion of a successful, planned refueling and maintenance outage. Electricity production resumed Oct. 18 at 10:43 a.m. ET.

Each unit at Plant Vogtle requires new fuel every 18 months. In addition to refueling the reactor and performing regular maintenance and testing, workers made upgrades to plant systems and components.

“The work performed during this 17th refueling outage for unit 1 is a significant investment in our facility,” said Tom Tynan, site vice president for Vogtle units 1 and 2. “The unit is positioned not just for the next 18 months but for years of continued safe and reliable electricity production.”

Among the activities completed during the fall outage was the installation of a digital feed water system that replaced analog technology original to the plant.

“We made upgrades to several systems and components,” Tynan said. “We performed inspections and tests to evaluate the health of our plant. Westinghouse’s rigorous examination of our reactor vessel head – conducted every six years – showed it is in excellent condition.”

Employees from across the Southern Nuclear fleet assisted Vogtle’s team of more than 900 in the refueling effort. More than 1,000 additional employees from Williams, Westinghouse, General Electric and other partners performed specialized tasks. This supplemental workforce provided economic stimulus to surrounding communities during their stay in the area.

“Our employees are to be commended for completing this outage safely and efficiently,” Tynan said.

The last refueling outage for unit 1 was completed in spring 2011. The unit marked its 25th year of safe, reliable operations in May of this year.

Vogtle unit 2 continued to safely generate electricity while unit 1 was offline and refueling.