BURKE COUNTY, Ga (WJBF) – The Plant Vogtle construction project has hit two major milestones.
A massive water tank has been lifted into place atop the Unit four containment vessel.
The placement represents the last major crane lift at the Burke County site.
The water tank weighs more than 720-thousand pounds and holds about 750 thousand gallons of water.
The water would be used in the event of an emergency to help cool the reactor.
Unit three has also hit a major milestone.
Hot functional testing marks the last series of major tests underway for the new nuclear unit ahead of initial fuel load. The testing represents a significant step towards operations and providing customers with a reliable, carbon-free energy source for the next 60 to 80 years.
Over the next several weeks, nuclear operators will use the heat generated by the unit’s four reactor coolant pumps to raise the temperature and pressure of plant systems to normal operating levels.
Once normal operating temperature and pressure levels are achieved and sustained, the unit’s main turbine will be raised to normal operating speed using steam from the plant.
During these series of tests, nuclear operators will be able to exercise and validate procedures as required ahead of fuel load.
Once operating, the two new units will be able to power more than 500-thousand homes and businesses.
Significant milestones that have been recently achieved include:
- Unit 4 Starting Integrated Flush – This test pushes water through the permanent plant system piping that feeds into the reactor vessel and reactor coolant loops. Integrated flush represents a critical step as the process is key to helping ensure the safe startup of Unit 4 and marks the start of extensive testing ahead for the unit’s systems.
- Unit 3 Nuclear Fuel Receipt – The first nuclear fuel assemblies for Unit 3 arrived at the site in December.
- Unit 3 Condenser Vacuum Test – The test was conducted with the main turbine on turning gear and by operating supporting systems to establish the condenser vacuum, which is necessary to demonstrate the steam supply and water-cooling systems operate together and are ready to support hot functional testing and initial fuel load in the reactor.
- Completion of Unit 3 Cold Hydro Testing – Confirmed the reactor’s coolant system functions as designed and verified the welds, joints, pipes and other components of the coolant system and associated high-pressure systems do not leak when under pressure.