WAYNESBORO, Ga. (WJBF) – It’s an historic moment for modern U.S. energy history as it marks the start-up of the first new nuclear power units to be built in the country over the last 30 years.

Georgia Power customers can expect at least a 12% rate increase over the next three years due to the new unit.

5% of that has already been applied.

Georgia Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols likens the project to the movie “The Great Escape.” An apt comparison because the plant was named after Alvin W. Vogtle Jr., the real life inspiration for the character played by Steve McQueen in the movie.

And we’ve been very patient, and we’ve gone through a lot. Fukushima, Westinghouse bankruptcy, change in prime contractors, the pandemic. all of these obstacles. And this plant has escaped death over and over and over again. And today– in a way– it has escaped the prison camp. It’s come out and now the fuel is being loaded.

Tim Echols, Georgia Public Service Commissioner

Startup testing will happen once the fuel load process is complete in the next few days.

Vogtle Unit 3 is expected to be up and running by April 2023.

NewsChannel is will share more details on the new reactor next week.