Georgia’s Plant Vogtle 3 is first nuclear reactor to enter commercial operation in 30 years

by WorldTribune Staff / 247 Real News July 31, 2023

The first new U.S. nuclear reactor in more than 30 years has gone online.

Vogtle nuclear plant in Waynesboro, Georgia

Georgia Power announced on Monday that its Plant Vogtle 3 nuclear reactor, after completing testing, has entered commercial operation and is reliably supplying power to the grid.

Plant Vogtle 3, located in Waynesboro in Burke County, will provide an estimated 1,000 megawatts of power to the state, enough to power 500,000 homes and businesses, developers said.

Utilities in Georgia, Florida and Alabama are also receiving electricity generated from the plant, in addition to the 2.7 million customers of Southern Co. subsidiary Georgia Power.

“Today is a historic day for the State of Georgia, Southern Company, and the entire energy sector, as we continue transforming the way we power the lives of millions of Americans,” Southern Co. President Chris Womack said in a statement.

Construction on Unit 3 of the plant began in 2013, and the project as a whole is reportedly $17 billion over budget.

“With Unit 3 completed, and Unit 4 in the final stages of construction and testing, this project shows just how new nuclear can and will play a critical role in achieving a clean energy future for the United States,” Womack said.

On Friday, Georgia Power said it has been cleared by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to begin loading radioactive fuel into its other new reactor, Unit 4, which it plans to do beginning in September.

Unit 4 is expected to be placed in service during the late fourth quarter of 2023 or the first quarter of 2024.

Once the new units are online, the four-reactor nuclear power plant will be the largest generator of clean energy in the United States.

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