Georgia Power has finalized a new service agreement with Westinghouse for the Vogtle nuclear expansion—the first new nuclear units to be built in the United States in more than 30 years. Previously, Westinghouse, the developer of the AP1000 nuclear technology being used by the new units, served as the primary contractor with oversight and responsibility for all construction activities. Under the new service agreement, approved by the U.S. Department of Energy on July 27, Southern Nuclear (the Southern Company subsidiary which operates the existing units at Plant Vogtle) will oversee construction activities at the site.
“We are already in the midst of a seamless transition for the thousands of workers across the site, allowing us to sustain the progress we are making every day on both units,” said Mark Rauckhorst, executive vice president for the Vogtle 3 and 4 project. “We remain focused on safety and quality as we complete this transition.”
The scope of the service agreement includes engineering, procurement and licensing support from Westinghouse, as well as access to Westinghouse intellectual property needed for the project. Under the new structure, hundreds of Georgia Power and Southern Nuclear employees, many who are already aligned with the project, will assume clearly defined project management roles.
Georgia Power also continues work with the project’s co-owners (Oglethorpe Power, MEAG Power and Dalton Utilities) to complete a full-scale schedule and cost-to-complete analysis of the project. Once complete, Georgia Power will work with the Georgia Public Service Commission to determine the best path forward for customers.
Following the Westinghouse bankruptcy filing on March 29, construction momentum has continued uninterrupted. Over the last 30 days alone, progress includes new concrete placement within the Unit 3 shield building and nuclear island, placement of structural steel for the Unit 4 annex building and the first of four 85,000-pound accumulator tanks for the new units within the Unit 3 containment vessel.