Georgia Power achieves latest round of Vogtle milestones, lays out final steps to completion of Unit 3
ATLANTA, Oct. 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Georgia Power today announced in a filing with the Georgia Public Service Commission the completion of the latest round of milestones at the Vogtle nuclear expansion project, along with an update on the remaining Unit 3 major milestones.
The filing supports the company's 23rd Vogtle Construction Monitoring (VCM) Report that covers the period January 1, 2020, through June 30, 2020, and can be found here. The filing provides the project's current status of construction, systems testing, and pre-operational activities. Earlier this week, Vogtle Unit 3 completed cold hydro testing. Unit 3 construction is now approximately 94% complete. The site now shifts its focus to one of the last major milestones remaining for Unit 3, hot functional testing. This series of tests is the last critical step before fuel load and ultimately in-service operation.
For the past three years, the project has been following an aggressive site working plan as a tool to build schedule margin to and ultimately meet the November 2021 regulatory-approved in-service date for Unit 3. Considering the milestone progress to date and stage of construction completion, the project is shifting its Unit 3 schedule from an aggressive tool to a working plan that is reflective of the site's current expectations. The Unit 3 working plan now reflects the site's current expectations for upcoming milestones, taking into account experience, trends, and assumptions for future productivity, ongoing measures necessary due to COVID-19, and the transition from a construction site to an operating plant and are as follows:
- Start of hot functional test: January 2021
- Fuel load: April 2021
- In-service: Third quarter 2021
Georgia Power continues to expect to meet its commitment to achieve the regulatory-approved in-service dates for both Units (November 2021 for Unit 3 and November 2022 for Unit 4). For Unit 3, Georgia Power expects hot functional testing can start as late as the end of March 2021, and fuel load can occur as late as mid-year 2021 to allow the site to meet the November regulatory-approved in-service date. The project continues to employ an aggressive site work plan for Unit 4 as a tool to build schedule margin to and ultimately meet the November 2022 regulatory-approved in-service date, with the in-service date under the plan adjusting one month to June 2022.
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 2.6 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 release is forward-looking information based on current expectations and plans that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking information includes, among other things, statements concerning the expected schedule for completion of construction and start-up of Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4 and expected job creation and rate impacts. Georgia Power cautions that there are certain factors that can 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, 2019, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2020 and June 30, 2020, and subsequent securities filings, could cause actual results to differ materially from management expectations as suggested by such forward-looking information: the continued effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including extended disruptions to supply chains and further reduced labor availability and productivity, which could have a variety of adverse impacts, including a negative impact on the ability to develop, construct, and operate facilities, including, but not limited to, Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4; the ability to control costs and avoid cost and schedule overruns during the development, construction, and operation of facilities or other projects, including Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4, which includes components based on new technology that only within the last few years began initial operation in the global nuclear industry at this scale, and including changes in labor costs, availability and productivity, challenges with management of contractors or vendors, subcontractor performance, adverse weather conditions, shortages, delays, increased costs, or inconsistent quality of equipment, materials, and labor, contractor or supplier delay, delays due to judicial or regulatory action, nonperformance under construction, operating, or other agreements, operational readiness, including specialized operator training and required site safety programs, engineering or design problems, design and other licensing-based compliance matters, including, for nuclear units, the timely submittal by Southern Nuclear of the Inspections, Tests, Analyses, and Acceptance Criteria documentation for each unit and the related reviews and approvals by the NRC necessary to support NRC authorization to load fuel, challenges with start-up activities, including major equipment failure or system integration, and/or operational performance; the ability to overcome or mitigate the current challenges at Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4, including, but not limited to, those related to COVID-19, that could further impact the cost and schedule for the project; legal proceedings and regulatory approvals and actions related to construction projects, such as Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4, including Public Service Commission approvals and NRC actions; under certain specified circumstances, a decision by holders of more than 10% of the ownership interests of Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4 not to proceed with construction and the ability of other Vogtle owners to tender a portion of their ownership interests to Georgia Power following certain construction cost increases; the ability to construct facilities in accordance with the requirements of permits and licenses (including satisfaction of NRC requirements), 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; the inherent risks involved in operating and constructing nuclear generating facilities; the ability of counterparties of Georgia Power to make payments as and when due and to perform as required; the direct or indirect effect on Georgia Power's business resulting from cyber intrusion or physical attack and the threat of physical attacks; catastrophic events such as fires, earthquakes, explosions, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes and other storms, droughts, pandemic health events or other similar occurrences; and the direct or indirect effects on Georgia Power's business resulting from incidents affecting the U.S. electric grid, natural gas pipeline infrastructure, or operation of generating or storage resources. Georgia Power expressly disclaims any obligation to update any forward–looking information.
SOURCE Georgia Power
For further information: Georgia Power Media Relations, (404) 506-7676 or (800) 282-1696, www.georgiapower.com