Upgrades to Plant Vogtle Unit 1 enhance the production of low-cost, carbon-free electricity
Unit 1 of the Alvin W. Vogtle Electric Generating Plant near Waynesboro, Ga., has safely resumed generating electricity following completion of a scheduled refueling and maintenance outage.
Plant operators safely took the unit offline March 12, 2017, and it resumed electricity production April 4, 2017, at 7:18 p.m. ET. In addition to refueling the reactor and performing regular maintenance and testing, workers made upgrades to plant systems and components to enhance efficiency and reliability.
The most significant upgrade for this outage was the installation of a digital controls system for the main turbine generator and associated equipment. This new Mark VIe system from GE replaces the plant's original analog control mechanisms. Vogtle's control room operators are now able to monitor and manipulate multiple turbine systems via touchscreens and keyboards. The new system has redundant backup systems which provide additional levels of safety beyond those that existed in the original design.
"Safety is our top priority, and our team is to be commended for completing this outage safely and efficiently," said Keith Taber, site vice president for Vogtle units 1 and 2. "The work performed during this outage is a significant investment in our facility and enhances our ability to produce clean, safe, affordable and reliable nuclear energy for the next 18 months."
Nearly 1,300 additional workers from Westinghouse, General Electric, Day & Zimmermann, Williams Corporation and other companies came to the plant to perform special tasks. Employees from across the Southern Nuclear fleet also assisted Vogtle's team in the refueling effort.
The last refueling outage for Unit 1 was completed in fall 2015. Unit 2 continued to safely generate electricity while Unit 1 was offline for refueling.
About Southern Nuclear:
Southern Nuclear, a subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), is a leader among the nation's nuclear energy facility operators and an innovator in advanced nuclear technologies. Southern Nuclear is an essential part of Southern Company's energy portfolio, and its importance will continue to grow as America transitions to a low-carbon energy future. While the company produces clean, safe and reliable nuclear energy, it's also an economic engine powered by quality jobs and community service. Southern Nuclear operates a total of six units for Alabama Power and Georgia Power at the Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Plant near Dothan, Ala.; the Edwin I. Hatch Nuclear Plant near Baxley, Ga.; and the Alvin W. Vogtle Electric Generating Plant near Waynesboro, Ga. Southern Nuclear is the licensee of two new nuclear units currently under construction at Plant Vogtle that are among the first nuclear units being constructed in the United States in more than 30 years. Southern Nuclear received numerous accolades in 2016 for leadership in the advancement of nuclear energy including the Special Achievement Award by the United States Nuclear Infrastructure Council and the Presidential Citation by the American Nuclear Society. Southern Nuclear also received two of the Nuclear Energy Institute's Top Innovative Practice awards and special recognition for achieving excellence in research and performance. Southern Nuclear's Plant Hatch received the ANS Operations & Power Division's Utility Achievement Award for plant improvements that resulted in a record-setting refueling outage duration. The company's headquarters is in Birmingham, Ala.
About Southern Company
Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is America's premier energy company, with 44,000 MW of generating capacity and 1,500 billion cubic feet of combined natural gas consumption and throughput volume serving 9 million electric and gas utility customers through its subsidiaries. The company provides clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy through electric utilities in four states, natural gas distribution utilities in seven states, a competitive generation company serving wholesale customers across America and a nationally recognized provider of customized energy solutions, as well as fiber optics and wireless communications. Southern Company brands are known for excellent customer service, high reliability and affordable prices that are below the national average. Through an industry-leading commitment to innovation, Southern Company and its subsidiaries are inventing America's energy future by developing the full portfolio of energy resources, including carbon-free nuclear, 21st century coal, natural gas, renewables and energy efficiency, and creating new products and services for the benefit of customers. Southern Company has been named by the U.S. Department of Defense and G.I. Jobs magazine as a top military employer, recognized among the Top 50 Companies for Diversity by DiversityInc, listed by Black Enterprise magazine as one of the 40 Best Companies for Diversity and designated a Top Employer for Hispanics by Hispanic Network. The company has earned a National Award of Nuclear Science and History from the National Atomic Museum Foundation for its leadership and commitment to nuclear development and is continually ranked among the top utilities in Fortune's annual World's Most Admired Electric and Gas Utility rankings.
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