1.8 million-pound containment vessel bottom head placed at Vogtle Unit 4
Georgia Power announced the completion of the latest major milestone in the construction of Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4 near Waynesboro, Ga. On Thursday, the project team successfully placed the Unit 4 containment vessel bottom head (CVBH) into that unit's nuclear island. The CVBH weighs more than 1.8 million pounds, or 900 tons, and is nearly 38 feet tall and 130 feet wide. The component consists of dozens of individual steel plates and was fabricated on site by CB&I, the project's contractor.
The CVBH was lifted into place using a 560-foot tall heavy lift derrick, one of the largest cranes in the world, and took approximately four hours. The placement of this component is the latest illustration of the continued progress of the construction of the two new nuclear units which use state-of-the-art AP1000 technology and are among the first nuclear units to be built the United States in 30 years. Once the new units come online, Plant Vogtle will be the only four-unit nuclear facility in the country.
Since the beginning of 2014, the project has marked several other major milestones including placement of the 460-ton CR10 module (or cradle) into the Unit 4 nuclear island in February and the 2.2 million-pound CA20 module for Unit 3 in March. The CR10 module, which resembles a concave bowl with a hollow center, is the structure upon which the CVBH rests.
Increased efficiency is being achieved throughout Unit 4 construction and can be attributed to the successful implementation of lessons learned from previous construction on Unit 3. Additionally, the initiation of the Operations Control Center (OCC), an on-site facility staffed 24 hours a day, is providing a central point for reporting, analysis and resolution of project challenges. The meeting of major Unit 4 milestones such as placement of basemat rebar, basemat concrete, and the CR10 module are direct results of both the OCC and implementation of lessons learned.
The Vogtle 3 and 4 expansion is part of Georgia Power's long-term, strategic plan for providing safe, clean, reliable and affordable energy for Georgians over the next 60 years. The expansion is the largest job-producing project in the state, employing approximately 5,000 people during peak construction and creating 800 permanent jobs when the plant begins operating. Construction of both units is progressing well with commercial operation dates remaining fourth quarter of 2017 for Unit 3 and fourth quarter of 2018 for Unit 4. Once the units enter service, fuel efficiencies from nuclear generation combined with ongoing customer benefits such as the recently finalized federal loan guarantees, are expected to put downward pressure on customer rates - cementing the project's status as the most economic choice for meeting Georgia's future energy needs.
Southern Nuclear, a subsidiary of Southern Company, is overseeing construction and will operate the two new 1,100-megawatt AP1000 units for Georgia Power and co-owners Oglethorpe Power Corporation, the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia and Dalton Utilities. Georgia Power owns 45.7 percent of the new units.
About Georgia Power
Georgia Power is the largest subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), one of the nation's largest generators of electricity. Value, Reliability, Customer Service and Stewardship are the cornerstones of the company's promise to 2.4 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, advanced coal and natural gas, as well as renewables such as solar, hydroelectric and wind. Consistently recognized as a leader in customer service, Georgia Power was recently ranked highest in overall business customer satisfaction among large utilities in the South by J.D. Power and Associates. For more information, visit www.GeorgiaPower.com and connect with the company on Facebook (Facebook.com/GeorgiaPower) and Twitter (Twitter.com/GeorgiaPower).
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 completion of construction, benefits of ongoing construction projects and job creation. Georgia Power Company 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 Company; accordingly, there can be no assurance that such suggested results will be realized. The following factors, in addition to those discussed in Georgia Power Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013, and subsequent securities filings, could cause actual results to differ materially from management expectations as suggested by such forward-looking information: the impact of recent and future federal and state regulatory changes, as well as changes in application of existing laws and regulations; ability to control costs and avoid cost overruns during the development and construction of the Plant Vogtle expansion, to construct facilities in accordance with the requirements of permits and licenses, to satisfy any operational and environmental performance standards, and to integrate the Plant Vogtle expansion upon completion of construction; regulatory approvals and actions related to the Plant Vogtle expansion, including Georgia Public Service Commission approvals and Nuclear Regulatory Commission actions; the inherent risks involved in operating and constructing nuclear generating facilities, including environmental, health, regulatory, natural disaster, terrorism, and financial risks; and the ability of counterparties of Georgia Power Company to make payments as and when due and to perform as required. Georgia Power Company expressly disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking information.
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