ATLANTA, May 2, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Georgia Power announced today the latest operational milestone for the new units at Plant Vogtle near Waynesboro, Georgia – members of the third training class of nuclear operators have passed the initial licensing exam by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Having licensed, qualified operators in place prior to nuclear fuel loading and plant start up helps ensure that the new units can be placed in service as quickly and safely as possible to deliver power for 500,000 homes and businesses.
Training is a multi-year process culminating in a three-week test, which also includes simulator testing and job performance measures. Each training class goes through a rigorous schedule that teaches candidates the fundamentals of nuclear power and plant operations. The training prepares them for duties as licensed operators through AP1000 system-specific training in the classroom and simulator, as well as hands-on training and task performance evaluations.
With more than 6,000 construction workers onsite today, the Vogtle nuclear expansion is the largest job-producing project in the state of Georgia. Once online, the new units will provide more than 800 careers, including 75 nuclear operators. Including the latest class of operators, 56 licensed operators are now available for Vogtle Units 3 and 4 with additional licensing training underway.
The nuclear operators are employed by Southern Nuclear, the nuclear operating subsidiary which operates the existing units at plants Vogtle and Hatch and is now project manager at the Vogtle construction site. Training, licensing and qualifying operators is a major step in demonstrating to the NRC that Southern Nuclear is prepared to commence start-up activities of Vogtle Units 3 and 4 and operate them once construction is complete.
Construction Progress Continues
Progress is made every day at the construction site. Recent construction milestones include the placement of the passive residual heat removal (PRHR) heat exchanger and the CA55 module - the first roof module for the in-containment refueling water storage tank, for Unit 3. Click here to read more.
Savings & Benefits for Customers
From the beginning of the Vogtle expansion, Georgia Power has worked with the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) to pursue all available benefits for customers and minimize the impact of the new units on electric bills. The company's 18th Vogtle Construction Monitoring Report noted a revised, lower projected rate impact for customers of 9.8 percent with approximately half of this impact already in place on bills. This projected rate impact is well below original projections of approximately 12 percent thanks to new federal tax laws, anticipated customer benefits from federal production tax credits, interest savings from loan guarantees from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and the fuel savings of nuclear energy.
Additionally, $75 in total 2018 bill credits, or $188 million overall, were approved by the Georgia PSC as part of its order to continue construction of Vogtle 3&4 in December 2017. Georgia Power issued the first $25 credit in April and plans to issue the second credit in July. The credits are a direct result of parent guarantee payments for the project from Toshiba available due to the strength of the original contract for the project and protections in place for Georgia electric customers. Click here to read more.
Follow the progress being made at the project with new photos added to the Plant Vogtle 3&4 Online Photo Gallery.
About Georgia Power
Georgia Power is the largest electric subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), America's premier energy company. Value, Reliability, Customer Service and Stewardship are the cornerstones of the company's promise to 2.5 million customers in all but four of Georgia's 159 counties. Committed to delivering clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy at rates below the national average, Georgia Power maintains a diverse, innovative generation mix that includes nuclear, coal and natural gas, as well as renewables such as solar, hydroelectric and wind. Georgia Power focuses on delivering world-class service to its customers every day and the company is consistently recognized by J.D. Power and Associates as an industry leader in customer satisfaction. For more information, visit www.GeorgiaPower.com and connect with the company on Facebook (Facebook.com/GeorgiaPower), Twitter (Twitter.com/GeorgiaPower) and Instagram (Instagram.com/ga_power).
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Certain information contained in this communication is forward-looking information based on current expectations and plans that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking information includes, among other things, statements concerning expected customer rate impacts, expected cost savings and customer benefits and other future actions related to Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4. Georgia Power cautions that there are certain factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information that has been provided. The reader is cautioned not to put undue reliance on this forward-looking information, which is not a guarantee of future performance and is subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside the control of Georgia Power; accordingly, there can be no assurance that such suggested results will be realized. The following factors, in addition to those discussed in Georgia Power's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017, and subsequent securities filings, could cause actual results to differ materially from management expectations as suggested by such forward-looking information: the impact of any failure to amend the DOE loan guarantee to allow for additional borrowings; state and federal rate regulations and the impact of pending and future rate cases and negotiations; the impact of recent and future federal and state regulatory changes, as well as changes in application of existing laws and regulations; the uncertainty surrounding the federal tax reform legislation, including implementing regulations and Internal Revenue Service interpretations, actions that may be taken in response by regulatory authorities, and its impact, if any, on the credit ratings of Georgia Power; current and future litigation or regulatory investigations, proceedings, or inquiries; available sources and costs of fuels; effects of inflation; the ability to control costs and avoid cost overruns during the development, construction and operation of facilities, which include the development and construction of generating facilities with designs that have not been previously constructed, including changes in labor costs and productivity, adverse weather conditions, shortages, increased costs or inconsistent quality of equipment, materials, and labor, including any changes related to imposition of import tariffs, contractor or supplier delay, non-performance under construction, operating, or other agreements, operational readiness, including specialized operator training and required site safety programs, unforeseen engineering or design problems, start-up activities (including major equipment failure and system integration), and/or operational performance; the ability to construct facilities in accordance with the requirements of permits and licenses, to satisfy any environmental performance standards and the requirements of tax credits and other incentives, and to integrate facilities into the Southern Company system upon completion of construction; advances in technology; legal proceedings and regulatory approvals and actions related to Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4, including Georgia Public Service Commission approvals and NRC actions; if certain adverse events were to occur, a decision by more than 10% of the owners of Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4 not to proceed with construction upon the occurrence of certain adverse events; interest rate fluctuations and financial market conditions and the results of financing efforts; changes in The Southern Company's or Georgia Power's credit ratings, including impacts on interest rates, access to capital markets, and collateral requirements; the impacts of any sovereign financial issues, including impacts on interest rates, access to capital markets, impacts on foreign currency exchange rates, counterparty performance, and the economy in general, as well as potential impacts on the benefits of DOE loan guarantees; and the effect of accounting pronouncements issued periodically by standard setting bodies. Georgia Power expressly disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking information.
SOURCE Georgia Power
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