First coolant pump arrives for Vogtle nuclear construction in Georgia

Southern (NYSE:SO) subsidiary Georgia Power said April 18 that another major component, the first reactor coolant pump, has arrived for construction of the new Vogtle nuclear units near Waynesboro, Georgia.

Arriving via truck from Curtiss-Wright Corp. in Cheswick, Pennsylvania, the reactor coolant pump is also the first to be delivered to any Westinghouse Electric U.S. AP1000 construction project, the utility said.

The pump weighs 187.5 tons, or 375,000 pounds, and is a critical component of the AP1000 design as it circulates hot primary-circuit water within the reactor. There are four reactor coolant pumps needed for each unit. 

Other recent progress at the Vogtle site includes the safe placement of six new shield building panels for Unit 3, bringing the total number of panels installed to date to 20.

The shield building, which encapsulates the Unit 3 containment vessel, is comprised of more than 160 individual steel panels. The reinforced individual panels can weigh 10 tons or more and be filled with concrete. Once fully assembled, the shield building will provide structural support of the containment cooling water supply and protect the containment vessel, which houses the reactor vessel and associated equipment.

The Vogtle project is the state’s largest job-producing construction project with more than 5,000 construction workers onsite and 800 permanent jobs once the new units begin operation.

Georgia Power files a monitoring report about the new Vogtle units, which are Units 3 and 4, every six months. The expected completion dates are June 2019 for Unit 3 and June 2020 for Unit 4.

The new nuclear units would each generate roughly 1,100 MW.

Southern utility subsidiary Georgia Power is the largest stakeholder in the Vogtle project. The utility’s co-owners include Oglethorpe Power, Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia, and the City of Dalton.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.