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File photo of the Vogtle construction site in June 2020. Courtesy Georgia Power. The Vogtle-4 nuclear power plant under construction in the US state of Georgia has been brought to initial energisation, meaning plant equipment is permanently powered.

Georgia Power said energisation is needed to perform all subsequent testing for the AP1000 Westinghouse plant, construction oof which began in November 2013. Construction of Vogtle-3, an identical unit, began in March 2013.

In April, hot functional testing began at Vogtle-3. Hot functional testing – which takes six to eight weeks – marks the last series of major tests for the new unit ahead of initial fuel load.

Date: Thursday, 10 June 2021
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US-based Westinghouse Electric Company on 5 May announced the acquisition of ABB's AC160N control platform, which serves as the background technology for its US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)-approved Common Q™ safety systems platform. “This acquisition marks a key investment into the company's instrumentation and control (I&C) portfolio to broaden its support of nuclear utilities' long-term operational strategies,” Westinghouse said.

Date: Wednesday, 12 May 2021
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Reactor could begin commercial operation this year The plant site of the Vogtle-3 AP1000 pressurised water reactor unit as of March 2021. Image courtesy Georgia Power Company. Hot functional testing has begun for the Vogtle-3 nuclear power plant under construction in the US, Georgia Power today announced.

The company also said all modules for the Vogtle-3 and -4 nuclear expansion project have now been set following the lifting into place of a massive water tank atop the Unit 4 containment vessel and shield building roof. The placement represents the last major crane lift at the site.

Hot functional testing marks the last series of major tests underway for the new nuclear unit ahead of initial fuel load. Georgia Power said the testing represents a significant step towards operation of the Westinghouse AP1000 reactor, construction of which began in March 2013.

Hot functional testing – expected to take six to eight weeks – is conducted to verify the operation of reactor components and systems together and confirm the reactor is ready for fuel load. As part of the testing, the site team will begin running Unit 3 plant systems without nuclear fuel and advance through the testing process towards reaching normal operating pressure and temperature.

Date: Wednesday, 28 April 2021
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Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction has been awarded its first contract for nuclear power instrumentation and controls (I&C) in the Chinese nuclear market. The South Korean company signed a contract with China Techenergy Company (CTEC) on 29 March to supply an Industrial Anti-seismic Protection System (IAPS) for units 3 and 4 of the planned Xudapu nuclear power plant in China's Liaoning province.

Date: Thursday, 01 April 2021
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US-based Westinghouse Electric Company said on 15 March that it intends to invest in nuclear technologies in Poland following a meeting in Warsaw between Westinghouse CEO, Patrick Fragman, and Poland’s Secretary of State in the Chancellery of the Prime Minister and Plenipotentiary for Strategic Energy Infrastructure, Piotr Naimski. The meeting followed an Inter-Governmental Agreement signed between Poland and the USA in October 2020 on cooperation for the implementation of the nuclear energy programme, which includes a plan to transfer technology from the USA and to develop a comprehensive investment scheme with participation of US entities. The agreement entered into force in February.

Date: Friday, 19 March 2021
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Westinghouse Electric Company has announced its intention to invest in nuclear technologies in Poland, following a meeting in Warsaw between Westinghouse CEO Patrick Fragman and Polish Secretary of State for Strategic Energy Infrastructure Piotr Naimski.

Date: Wednesday, 17 March 2021
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Low-carbon technologies are more competitive than the fossil fuel options for electricity generation, which is good news for governments wanting to move towards low-carbon systems. But electricity is not the end of the story, says Dr Henri Paillere, head of the Planning and Economics Studies Section of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Date: Tuesday, 16 February 2021
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Reactor at existing site could be completed within 10 years The existing Kozloduy nuclear station in Bulgaria. Courtesy Kozloduy NPP. The Bulgarian cabinet has approved a report on the possibility of building a new nuclear power unit at the existing Kozloduy nuclear power station in the northwest of the country, with completion possible within 10 years, the government’s press service said.

According to the report, prepared by the Bulgarian ministry of energy, a second site at Kozloduy has already received a positive environmental impact assessment from the regulator. The EIA included Russian VVER and US AP-1000 pressurised water reactor technology.

The report noted that construction of a seventh unit at Kozloduy, which has four shut-down units and two in operation, could use equipment from the Belene nuclear project.

In October 2020, the government gave permission to state-owned Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH), which owns Kozloduy, to negotiate with US nuclear companies about deploying a new reactor at Kozloduy.

Date: Friday, 22 January 2021
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Covid-19 pandemic is continuing to affect work at the site, company says The Vogtle-3 construction site in November 2020. Courtesy Georgia Power. Georgia Power is likely to adjust the dates for the start of hot functional testing and fuel load for the Vogtle-3 nuclear power plant under construction in the US, but still expects to achieve the November 2021 and 2022 regulatory-approved in-service dates for Units 3 and 4 respectively.

Since October 2020, the Vogtle site in the state of Georgia has seen a significant increase in Covid-19 cases, Georgia Power said. This increase, combined with “other productivity challenges”, continues to impact construction production and the pace of testing activity completion, it added.

Last year Georgia Power said it expected to begin hot functional testing in January 2021 and fuel loading in April 2021.

Date: Wednesday, 13 January 2021
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The UK's Environment Agency (EA) has published its assessment so far of the UK Hualong One pressurised water reactor (UK HPR1000) as it invites public comment on this proposed new reactor design. The UK HPR1000 is the Hualong One design that General Nuclear Services (GNS) - a subsidiary of EDF and China General Nuclear (CGN) - proposes to use at a prospective new nuclear power plant in Bradwell, England.

Date: Tuesday, 12 January 2021
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