Major systems testing is now underway at Georgia Power's Vogtle nuclear plant expansion project, the utility announced in a statement, 25 November.
The open vessel testing at Vogtle 3 AP1000 will demonstrate how water flows from the key safety systems into the reactor vessel, ensuring paths are not blocked or constricted. It will also confirm that the pumps, motors, valves, pipes and other components of the systems function as designed.
"This is a significant step on our path towards operations," said Glen Chick, executive vice presidenr of Vogtle 3&4 Construction. "Open vessel testing will prepare the unit for cold hydro testing and hot functional testing next year – both critical tests required ahead of initial fuel load."
Recent milestones, include the placement of the final reinforced concrete portion of the Vogtle 4 shield building last week. The third containment vessel ring for Vogtle 4 was the last of six 13ft-diameter rings to be placed at site. The rings form the walls of the containment vessel and are topped with a containment dome which seals the structure.
The upper inner casing for the Vogtle 3 high-pressure turbine was also placed this month, signifying the completion of the centerline alignment, Georgia Power said.
Georgia Power is building two Westinghouse AP1000s as the Vogtle expansion project in Georgia. Vogtle 3 is scheduled to enter commercial operation in November 2021, with Vogtle 4 expected to follow 12 months later.