Georgia Power announced the completion of hot functional testing at Vogtle Unit 4, marking a significant step towards operation.

Hot functional testing is conducted without fuel in the reactor. This testing is done to verify the successful operation of reactor components and systems together when the plant is at operating temperature and pressure conditions.

Now, the site team will focus on submitting documentation to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) that all inspection, tests and analyses have been performed and all acceptance criteria, collectively known as ITAACS, have been met on Vogtle Unit 4 as required by Southern Nuclear’s Combined Operating License. Each ITAAC closure notice must be verified by the NRC before fuel can be loaded into the reactor.

Fuel load is expected at Unit 4 in the third quarter of 2023. The unit is projected to enter service in late fourth quarter 2023 or the first quarter 2024.

Vogtle Unit 3 is expected to come online first, with a May or June date.

The two AP-1000 reactors at Plant Vogtle, each with a capacity of approximately 1,100 MW, are the first new units to be built in the U.S. in more than 30 years. Cost overruns and construction problems have long delayed the project.

Southern Nuclear will operate Vogtle Units 3 and 4 on behalf of co-owners Georgia Power, Oglethorpe Power, MEAG Power and Dalton Utilities.

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