Unit 1 of the Alvin W. Vogtle Electric Generating Plant near Waynesboro, Ga., has safely resumed generating electricity following completion of a scheduled refueling and maintenance outage.
Plant operators safely took the unit offline March 12, 2017, and it resumed electricity production April 4, 2017, at 7:18 p.m. ET. In addition to refueling the nuclear reactor and performing regular maintenance and testing, workers made upgrades to power plant systems and components to enhance efficiency and reliability.
The most significant upgrade for this outage was the installation of a digital controls system for the main turbine generator and associated equipment. This new Mark VIe system from GE replaces the plant's original analog control mechanisms.
Vogtle's control room operators are now able to monitor and manipulate multiple turbine systems via touchscreens and keyboards. The new system has redundant backup systems which provide additional levels of safety beyond those that existed in the original design.
"Safety is our top priority, and our team is to be commended for completing this outage safely and efficiently," said Keith Taber, site vice president for Vogtle units 1 and 2. "The work performed during this outage is a significant investment in our facility and enhances our ability to produce clean, safe, affordable and reliable nuclear energy for the next 18 months."
Nearly 1,300 additional workers from Westinghouse, GE, Day & Zimmermann, Williams Corporation and other companies came to the plant to perform special tasks. Employees from across the Southern Nuclear fleet also assisted Vogtle's team in the refueling effort.
The last refueling outage for Unit 1 was completed in fall 2015. Unit 2 continued to safely generate electricity while Unit 1 was offline for refueling.