The in-service date for Plant Vogtle Unit 4 is being pushed back to 2024 due to a motor fault in one of four reactor coolant pumps, Georgia Power said in a filing to the SEC.
The Oct. 6 filing noted that Southern Nuclear has started the process of replacing the faulty reactor coolant pump (RCP) with an onsite spare one from inventory. The new in-service timeframe is projected for the first quarter of 2024.
The filing said since Unit 3’s four RCPs operated as designed, Southern Nuclear believes that the motor fault in this case is an isolated event. Vogtle Unit 3 entered commercial operation on July 31, 2023.
Utility officials said the projected schedule for Unit 4 primarily depends on the “continued progression of pre-operational testing and start-up, which may be impacted by further equipment, component, and/or other operational challenges.”
They added future challenges could also include management of contractors and related cost increases.
Further updates will be provided in connection with Southern Company’s earnings call in November 2023.
Vogtle 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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