Plant Vogtle is finally on track after being postponed for 18-months. Many of you know that Southern Company, Georgia Powers’ parent company, shut down the project to resolve issues. Southern Company was worried how their customers were going to take an increase in their power bills due to Vogtle and its growth. “We remain committed to nuclear as a dominate solution in the future to the nation’s energy portfolio,” said Fanning. Tom Fanning is the Chairman and chief executive for Southern Company. The project is said to cost $5.045 billion. After revising the budget and schedule, Georgia Power has released that Unit 3 is to be complete in 2019 whereas Unit 4 won’t be completed till 2020. Units 3 and 4 are the first to use advanced pressurized water reactor technology (AP1000). This allows nuclear cores to cool in the absence of operators or mechanical assistance. New nuclear plants are designed to effectively and safely shutdown using the natural force of gravity, natural circulation, and compressed gases to keep the core from overheating. An AP1000 plant has a design the results in a plant that is easier and less expensive to build, operate, and maintain. An AP1000 plant’s design has the following:
- 50% fewer valves
- 35% fewer pumps
- 80% less piping
- 45% less building volume
- 70% less cable
The AP1000 Westinghouse is an efficient building structure that helps keep the environment green during the construction and operational phases of its life expectancy.
The AP1000 does this by using less concrete, steel, and equipment during construction phase which allows for shorter construction schedules and reduced impact on the environment from manufacturing construction materials.
The efficient and technologically advanced design also requires less operational maintenance and provides a more efficient power production system which provides a competitive cost of power, which coal plants do not provide. Obtaining the proper license for each separate project, engineering, standard designs, etc, also helps reducing costs and increases licensing certainty.
Since Georgia Power is providing new technology for the two new units, it will allow them to reach more clients with a greater competitive cost advantage than ever before. This is very helpful since Georgia expects to have 1.5 million new residents by 2025. By teaming Plant Hatch and Plant Vogtle, Georgia should be able to handle the 27% increase of electrical demand by 2030.