More than 5,500 workers are on-site in various capacities connected with construction of the Vogtle 3 and 4 nuclear units in Georgia that are being built by Southern (NYSE:SO) utility Georgia Power and its partners.
Georgia Power Executive Vice President of Nuclear Development Joseph (Buzz) Miller recapped major milestones from the past year in a YouTube video that was posted online Jan. 6.
A module weighing 1,100 tons has been put in place, cooling towers are going up and “we have now received all four steam generators,” Miller said.
The two new reactors, which will each be capable of generating more than 1,100 MW, are going up alongside the existing Vogtle Units 1 and 2 in Waynesboro, Ga. The nuclear station is owned by Georgia Power along with its partners, Oglethorpe Power, the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (MEAG) and Dalton Utilities.
While lots of infrastructure has gone up in the past year, one of the biggest changes of 2015 involved a change in chief contractors. In 2016, “we were able to resolve certain commercial issues,” Miller said.
Westinghouse Electric reached agreement in October 2015 to acquire nuclear subsidiary Stone & Webster from chief vendor Chicago Bridge & Iron (NYSE:CBI).
The agreement cleared the way for Westinghouse, which designed the AP 1000 reactors, to become the chief contractor for both the Vogtle 3 and 4 project in Georgia as well as the SCANA (NYSE:SCG) V.C. Summer 2 and 3 project in South Carolina.
Importantly, it also resolved longstanding legal and contractual battles between CBI and the owners of the new nuclear plants.
Miller briefly alluded to the contractor situation in the new video, noting that Westinghouse has brought in Flour (NYSE:FLR) to manage construction for the Vogtle project.
Fluor is supporting Westinghouse to quickly transition construction responsibilities, as well as the craft labor and a significant portion of the existing field staff workforce, from the previous contractor, CBI, Fluor has said.
Miller also said in the video that Vogtle continues to enjoy strong support from the Georgia Public Service Commission. To date, Georgia Power has submitted more than $3bn worth of expenditures for Vogtle. The capital spending requests typically have been approved in unanimous decisions by the Georgia PSC, Miller said.
Georgia Power expects to load fuel for the two new units in 2018 and 2019, Miller said.