Nuclear technicians and operators are now moving fuel into Plant Vogtle Unit 4 as the nuclear generating unit moves closer to entering service.

During fuel load, Westinghouse and Southern Nuclear are scheduled to transfer 157 fuel assemblies one-by-one into the Unit 4 reactor core.

Startup testing will begin next and is designed to demonstrate operation of the primary coolant system and steam supply system at design temperature and pressure. Operators will also bring the plant from cold shutdown to initial criticality, synchronize the unit to the electric grid and systematically raise power to 100%. Southern Nuclear will operate the new unit.

The fuel load process marks a milestone toward startup and commercial operation. Vogtle Unit 4 is expected to be placed in service during late-2023 or early-2024.

On July 31, Vogtle Unit 3 entered commercial operation.

Units 3 and 4, representing 2,200 MW, are the first nuclear units to be built in the U.S. in more than three decades. But the journey hasn’t been easy: Cost overruns and construction problems have delayed the project. Project partners have disputed over rising construction costs and their stake in the venture.  

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