Around midnight on Feb. 8, operators at the Edwin I. Hatch Electric Generating Plant in Georgia safely took Unit 1 offline for a planned refueling and maintenance outage.
The last refueling outage for Unit 1 was completed in spring 2014, Southern Nuclear noted in a Feb. 8 statement. Each unit at Plant Hatch requires new fuel every 24 months. In addition to refueling the reactor and performing regular maintenance and testing, workers will make upgrades to plant systems and components.
“Safety is our number one focus and priority during the outage,” said Plant Hatch Vice President David Vineyard. “The key to a safe and successful outage is our outstanding employees and supporting partners.”
Employees from across the Southern Nuclear fleet are assisting Plant Hatch’s staff of more than 900 in the refueling effort. More than 800 additional workers from General Electric, Day and Zimmerman, and other partners are on site performing specialized tasks. This supplemental workforce provides economic stimulus to surrounding communities during the planning stages and throughout the outage.
Plant Hatch Unit 2 will continue to safely generate electricity while Unit 1 is offline and refueling.
The Edwin I. Hatch plant is jointly owned by Georgia Power (50.1%), Oglethorpe Power (30%), Municipal Electrical Authority of Georgia (17.7%) and Dalton Utilities (2.2%). Construction of the two-unit plant started in 1968. Unit 1 began commercial operation in 1975 and Unit 2 began commercial operation in 1979. Each unit is rated at 924 MW for a total capacity of 1,848 MW. The plant is powered by boiling water reactors manufactured by General Electric.
Southern Nuclear, a subsidiary of Southern Co. (NYSE: SO), operates a total of six units for Alabama Power and Georgia Power at: the Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Plant near Dothan, Ala.; the Edwin I. Hatch Nuclear Plant near Baxley, Ga.; and the Alvin W. Vogtle Electric Generating Plant near Waynesboro, Ga. Southern Nuclear is the licensee of two new nuclear units currently under construction at Plant Vogtle, which will be the first nuclear units constructed in the United States in more than 30 years.