Bechtel salutes Georgia Power and Southern Nuclear for regulatory approval milestone that enables Vogtle Unit 3 fuel load
04 August 2022
Nuclear Regulatory Commission confirms Unit 3 meets strict nuclear safety and quality standards
Bechtel today congratulated Georgia Power, Southern Nuclear, and thousands of workers at the Vogtle project on the receipt of a historic regulatory finding from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Unit 3, in Waynesboro, Georgia, is the first of only two new nuclear units currently under construction in the United States.
This finding, known as a 103(g) finding under the nuclear licensing process, signifies that Vogtle Unit 3 has been constructed and will be operated in conformance with NRC regulations and Southern Nuclear's Combined License – helping ensure the unit meets strict nuclear safety and quality standards. No further NRC findings are necessary in order for Southern Nuclear to load fuel or begin the startup sequence for the new unit.
“Our congratulations go out to Georgia Power, Southern Nuclear, and the thousands of men and women who have worked to make this extraordinary milestone a reality,” said Bechtel Project Director John Atwell. “The dedication and commitment of our construction team including all of our craft professionals is extraordinary. I am extremely proud to be part of a team that continues to make nuclear power history and continues to deliver a safe and quality plant to the community.”
On July 29, Southern Nuclear submitted documentation that Unit 3 satisfied 398 required inspections, tests, analyses, and acceptance criteria (ITAACs). The NRC conducted a thorough review process of each submission and targeted inspections of the facility before issuing the 103(g) finding. As required by the NRC, each ITAAC had to be verified before fuel load and operations.
Final preparations for Unit 3 fuel load, system transitions to operations, and bringing the unit online are now taking place. Meanwhile, construction on Unit 4 is currently 96 percent complete.
Once operating, the two new units at Plant Vogtle will be able to power more than 500,000 homes and businesses.
Bechtel has completed more than 74,000 megawatts of new nuclear generation capacity and has performed engineering and/or construction services on more than 80 percent of nuclear plants in the United States and 150 plants worldwide. Today, the company leads efforts in designing and constructing advanced nuclear plants, key to global efforts on the path to net zero carbon emissions.
Since 2017, Bechtel has been responsible for completing construction of Vogtle Units 3 and 4 under the management of Southern Nuclear, the Southern Company subsidiary that operates the existing two units at Plant Vogtle. Vogtle Units 3 and 4 are the first Westinghouse AP1000 units to be built in the U.S.