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Aug 1, 2023

The Era of Advanced Nuclear Energy Arrives in the U.S. with First AP1000 Reactor Achieving Commercial Operation at Vogtle

  • Westinghouse Congratulates Southern Nuclear Company, Georgia Power and Project Partners on Significant Milestone

The first U.S. Gen III+ advanced nuclear Westinghouse AP1000® reactor today entered commercial operation at Southern Nuclear’s Plant Vogtle. Westinghouse congratulates the team at Southern, Georgia Power and the project partners for achieving commercial operation at Unit 3.

This historic achievement marks the beginning of a new era for clean, cost-effective nuclear-powered electricity in America, using the most advanced nuclear reactor technology available today on the market globally. The AP1000 reactors at Vogtle are the first new nuclear build projects in the U.S. in more than 30 years.

Unit 4 is now prepping for initial fuel load after completing Hot Functional Testing in May in record-setting time, with commercial operation expected in the fourth quarter of this year or early next year.

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“We can do new nuclear energy in America, and we must continue to do new nuclear in America,” said Patrick Fragman, President & CEO at Westinghouse. “The lessons-learned, and the experience gained through these vital units at Vogtle, as well as the competencies and capabilities we built with our supply chain, prepare Westinghouse well for continued new nuclear units to address our climate change and energy security objectives.”

Westinghouse’s proven AP1000 technology, leveraging modular design and construction methods, truly offers the benefits of Nth-of-a-kind status with a global fleet and a mature supply chain. At the end of this decade, 12 AP1000 reactors will be in operation around the world. These factors greatly improve the economics and mitigate schedule risks for future customers, both in the U.S. and overseas. The Vogtle team demonstrated significant efficiencies at Unit 4, utilizing experience earned from Unit 3.

“We are grateful to Southern Company for putting their trust in Westinghouse and our technology throughout this journey,” Fragman said. “My thanks to all who contributed to the successful completion of the Vogtle units’ construction, including the tens of thousands of craft, technical and managerial personnel.”

The AP1000 units at Plant Vogtle, located near Waynesboro, GA, are Generation III+ pressurized water reactors with fully passive safety systems, modular construction design and have the smallest footprint per MWe on the market. Four AP1000 units are currently setting operational performance records in China with six additional reactors under construction. Poland recently selected the AP1000 reactor for its nuclear energy program, Ukraine has made firm commitments for nine AP1000 units and Westinghouse announced in June that Bulgaria will construct an AP1000 unit at the Kozloduy nuclear site. The technology is also under consideration at multiple other sites in Central and Eastern Europe, the United Kingdom, India and in the United States.