10/05/2021

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Bechtel reaches construction milestone at $25B Georgia nuclear plant

3 min read

Dive Quick:

  • Bechtel reached a big construction milestone at the Vogtle Electrical Producing Plant close to Waynesboro, Georgia, this week when it set into location a passive containment cooling drinking water tank. This, according to Bechtel, is the past major lift at the two-unit nuclear ability plant, which is operated by Southern Nuclear, a subsidiary of Southern Co.
  • Brian Reilly, job director for Bechtel, mentioned placing the tank in position signifies the topping out of Device 4’s defend constructing. The passive containment cooling water tank measures 35 toes tall and has an 85-foot outer diameter. The tank module, which incorporates outfitting and rigging, weighs 360 tons.
  • The Vogtle plants’ Models 3 and 4 are the only two nuclear ability plants under design in the U.S. Bechtel mentioned it has experienced extra than 7,000 workers on the jobsite, which, counting the everlasting work opportunities that have been created, can make Vogtle the greatest work-developing building task in the point out of Ga. Bechtel has performed either the design or engineering for additional than 80% of the nuclear crops in the U.S.

Dive Insight:

Bechtel stated the very first of 1,485 important device modules arrived on the Vogtle website in 2011, even though the very last attained the task in 2019. All modules were being made offsite and arrived at the venture ready to be assembled into more substantial modules that make up each individual of the two models. The modules provided plant parts like ground and wall sections, as properly as the supporting constructions that encompass the containment buildings and reactor vessels. 

The Westinghouse AP1000 models the firm is utilizing are the initial to be constructed in the U.S. 

Bechtel claimed the AP1000 plant’s passive security programs require no operator actions to mitigate possible unexpected emergency scenarios, since they use only all-natural forces such as gravity, organic circulation and compressed gasoline to obtain their security function. No pumps, followers, diesels, chillers or other energetic machinery are made use of, besides for a couple of straightforward valves that quickly align and actuate the passive safety systems.

The tank will keep about 750,000 gallons of cooling water prepared to flow down into the containment vessel in an emergency to support amazing the reactor, even if exterior electrical power is misplaced. The h2o can also be directed to major off the invested gas pool, whilst the tank itself can be refilled from water stored elsewhere on website. 

Soaring prices and the bankruptcy of Westinghouse delayed the venture, but development went back into complete swing soon after Georgia Power, also a subsidiary of Southern Co., introduced that cooling tower homeowners — Oglethorpe Electricity, MEAG Ability and Dalton Utilities — had attained an arrangement on how to cope with about $2.3 billion in excess costs. The project’s expenditures are believed at $25 billion, according to The Wall Road Journal.

In accordance to the U.S. Energy Details Administration, as of Oct. 31, 2020, there were being 56 professional nuclear electrical power crops in procedure in the U.S. The services are in 28 states and incorporate 94 nuclear power reactors. Of the nuclear electricity vegetation at present in operation, 32 have two reactors and 3 have a few reactors. The very last nuclear reactor to arrive online was the Watts Bar Unit 2 in Spring City, Tennessee, which commenced industrial operation in Oct 2016.

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