GEORGIA POWER: Third class of Vogtle 3&4 operators pass NRC licensing exam

Georgia Power issued the following announcement on May 2.

Georgia Power announced the latest operational milestone for the new units at Plant Vogtle near Waynesboro, Georgia – members of the third training class of nuclear operators have passed the initial licensing exam by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Having licensed, qualified operators in place prior to nuclear fuel loading and plant start up helps ensure that the new units can be placed in service as quickly and safely as possible to deliver power for 500,000 homes and businesses.

Training is a multi-year process culminating in a three-week test, which also includes simulator testing and job performance measures. Each training class goes through a rigorous schedule that teaches candidates the fundamentals of nuclear power and plant operations. The training prepares them for duties as licensed operators through AP1000 system-specific training in the classroom and simulator, as well as hands-on training and task performance evaluations.

With more than 6,000 construction workers onsite today, the Vogtle nuclear expansion is the largest job-producing project in the state of Georgia. Once online, the new units will provide more than 800 careers, including 75 nuclear operators. Including the latest class of operators, 56 licensed operators are now available for Vogtle Units 3 and 4 with additional licensing training underway.

The nuclear operators are employed by Southern Nuclear, the nuclear operating subsidiary which operates the existing units at plants Vogtle and Hatch and is now project manager at the Vogtle construction site. Training, licensing and qualifying operators is a major step in demonstrating to the NRC that Southern Nuclear is prepared to commence start-up activities of Vogtle Units 3 and 4 and operate them once construction is complete.

Construction Progress Continues

Progress is made every day at the construction site. Recent construction milestones include the placement of the passive residual heat removal (PRHR) heat exchanger and the CA55 module - the first roof module for the in-containment refueling water storage tank, for Unit 3. Click here to read more.

Savings & Benefits for Customers

From the beginning of the Vogtle expansion, Georgia Power has worked with the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) to pursue all available benefits for customers and minimize the impact of the new units on electric bills. The company's 18th Vogtle Construction Monitoring Report noted a revised, lower projected rate impact for customers of 9.8 percent with approximately half of this impact already in place on bills. This projected rate impact is well below original projections of approximately 12 percent thanks to new federal tax laws, anticipated customer benefits from federal production tax credits, interest savings from loan guarantees from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and the fuel savings of nuclear energy.

Additionally, $75 in total 2018 bill credits, or $188 million overall, were approved by the Georgia PSC as part of its order to continue construction of Vogtle 3&4 in December 2017. Georgia Power issued the first $25 credit in April and plans to issue the second credit in July. The credits are a direct result of parent guarantee payments for the project from Toshiba available due to the strength of the original contract for the project and protections in place for Georgia electric customers. Click here to read more.

Original source can be found here.

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