First concrete placed at Plant Vogtle nuclear power plant expansion

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Georgia Power has completed the placement of basemat structural concrete for the nuclear island at its Vogtle Unit 3 nuclear expansion site, a significant achievement in the building of the first new nuclear units in the U.S. in 30 years.

"This was a team effort that included Georgia Power, Southern Nuclear, CB&I, Westinghouse Electric Co. and our co-owners — Oglethorpe Power Corp., the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia and Dalton Utilities," said Georgia Power nuclear development executive vice president Buzz Miller.

Georgia Power is building two new nuclear energy facilities at Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4, near Waynesboro.

The full outlines of both nuclear islands at Vogtle have been completed to grade level. The first components for erecting the Unit 3 containment vessel are completed and staged for installation once the basemat concrete has cured, including the CR10 cradle and the Unit 3 containment vessel bottom head.

While maintaining focus on safety, quality and compliance, the basemat concrete placement was completed in about 41 hours. The placement at Vogtle Unit 3 encompassed about 7,000 cubic yards of concrete, which will serve as the foundation for all of the nuclear island structures, including the containment vessel and the shield building. It covered an area about 250 feet long and 160 feet wide at its widest point, and the concrete measured six feet in thickness.

The construction of Vogtle 3 and 4 is the largest job-producing project in Georgia, employing about 5,000 people during peak construction and creating 800 permanent jobs when the plant begins operating. Once complete, the new units will produce enough electricity to power 500,000 Georgia homes and businesses.

Unit 3 is scheduled to go on line in 2017, and Unit 4 will follow in 2018.

The facility provides at least $4 billion more value to customers than the next best available technology, including natural gas generation. Georgia Power is in position to provide customers with up to $2 billion in potential benefits in the form of savings related to recovering financing costs during construction, DOE loan guarantees, production tax credits, lower-than-forecast interest rates and lower-than-forecast commodity costs.

Southern Nuclear, a unit of Southern Co., is overseeing construction and will operate the two new 1,100-MW AP1000 units for Georgia Power and co-owners Oglethorpe Power Corp., the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia and Dalton Utilities. Georgia Power owns 45.7 percent of the new units.

Georgia Power is the largest unit of Southern Co., one of the nation's largest generators of electricity. The company is an investor-owned, tax-paying utility with rates below the national average. Georgia Power serves 2.4 million customers in all but four of Georgia's 159 counties.

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